Thermal tolerance ranges and climate variability: A comparison between bivalves from differing climates

Tanya J. Compton*, Micha J. A. Rijkenberg, Jan Drent, Theunis Piersma

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

126 Citaten (Scopus)
464 Downloads (Pure)


The climate variability hypothesis proposes that in variable temperate climates poikilothermic animals have wide thermal tolerance windows, whereas in constant tropical climates they have small thermal tolerance windows. In this study we quantified and compared the upper and lower lethal thermal tolerance limits of numerous bivalve species from a tropical (Roebuck Bay, north western Australia) and a temperate (Wadden Sea, north western Europe) tidal flat. Species from tropical Roebuck Bay had higher upper and lower lethal thermal limits than species from the temperate Wadden Sea, and Wadden Sea species showed an ability to survive freezing temperatures. The increased freezing resistance of the Wadden Sea species resulted in thermal tolerance windows that were on average 7 degrees C greater than the Roebuck Bay species. Furthermore, at a local-scale, the upper lethal thermal limits of the Wadden Sea species were positively related to submersion time and thus to encountered temperature variation, but this was not the case for the Roebuck Bay species. A review of previous studies, at a global scale, showed that upper lethal thermal limits of tropical species are closer to maximum habitat temperatures than the upper lethal thermal limits of temperate species, suggesting that temperate species are better adapted to temperature variation. In this study, we show for the first time, at both local and global scales, that the lethal thermal limits of bivalves support the climate variability effect in the marine environment. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)200-211
Aantal pagina's12
TijdschriftJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusPublished - 30-nov-2007

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