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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 715:41-56 (2023)  -  DOI:

Effects of thermal history on reproductive success and cross-generational effects in the kelp Laminaria pallida (Phaeophyceae)

Pierre Liboureau1,*, Gareth A. Pearson1, Luís Barreto1, Ester A. Serrao1, Anja Kreiner2, Neusa Martins1

1Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), CIMAR, University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
2National Marine Information and Research Centre (NatMIRC), Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, PO Box 912, Swakopmund, Namibia
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: As climate change threatens marine ecosystems, sessile species such as kelps can be particularly impacted by rapidly changing environmental conditions. In this context, phenotypic plasticity can allow organisms to optimize their performance to cope with high temperatures. Here, we investigated the effects of thermal history on reproductive success and cross-generational plasticity in the warm-temperate kelp Laminaria pallida. Our results show that reproductive success of fertile gametophytes (14ºC) was improved by prior vegetative growth under warm compared to cold conditions. Cross-generational effects were evident; thermal tolerance of microscopic F1 sporophytes was modulated by the thermal history of the parental gametophytes. However, the effects were complex, varying by physiological trait, exposure time and genotype (crosses). A warm thermal history increased the photosynthetic efficiency of sporophytes at moderate to high temperatures, while the sporophytes from a cold thermal history grew more during the first 8 d at all experimental temperatures, but this effect disappeared over time. Our results suggest that preconditioning for reproduction and cross-generational effects can play an important role in the adaptation of L. pallida to warm habitats, highlighting the importance of incorporating thermal history effects in physiological studies to accurately predict the vulnerability of populations and species to future warming climates.

KEY WORDS: Brown alga · Gametophyte fertility · Global warming · Parental effects · Phenotypic plasticity · Sporophyte formation · Thermal tolerance

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Cite this article as: Liboureau P, Pearson GA, Barreto L, Serrao EA, Kreiner A, Martins N (2023) Effects of thermal history on reproductive success and cross-generational effects in the kelp Laminaria pallida (Phaeophyceae). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 715:41-56.

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