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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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Temperature-dependent herbivore growth results in increased cell size, and thus biomass, at low temperatures and increased cell division rates at higher temperatures. Illustration: Gayantonia Franzè

Franzè G, Menden-Deuer S


Common temperature-growth dependency and acclimation response in three herbivorous protists


How temperature affects metabolic rates is a fundamental question in biology. Surprisingly, the temperature response of herbivorous protists is undefined. To develop predictive relationships suitable for cross-ecosystem comparisons, Franzè and Menden-Deuer provide acclimated temperature growth dependency of cosmopolitan dinoflagellates and the required rates of acclimation within an ecological relevant temperature range. Despite phylogenetic diversity, dinoflagellates showed commonalities in growth and acclimation rates useful to establish accurate predictions. A faster temperature-dependent increase in production- compared to division-based growth suggests the importance of applying appropriate metrics to produce robust biogeochemical and ecosystem models. The linear increase of growth with temperature implies a weaker temperature effect than commonly assumed by the exponential dependency and suggests underestimation of trophic transfer in cold and overestimation in warmer regions.


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