Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Same species responds differently to same warming, depending on location

06.06.2006
Pre-cooked mussels?

Based on current trends for both air and water temperatures, by 2100 the body temperatures of California mussels -- found along thousands of miles of coast in the northeast Pacific Ocean and not just in California –- could increase between about 2 degrees F and 6.5 F depending on where they live.


A "robomussel," actually an intertidal temperature data logger, can mimic the thermal characteristics of an individual mussel and record temperature data at 10-minute intervals for up to seven months. Credit: University of Washington

For areas where mussels already are living close to the edge, chances are that increases of 6.5 F will kill them, researchers say.

Unlike humans, the body temperature of marine animals such as mussels is regulated by the temperature of the air and water around them –- and it’s not the simple 1-degree warmer and 1-degree rise in body temperature that has been assumed, says Sarah Gilman, a University of Washington postdoctoral researcher and lead author of a paper appearing online June 5 through June 9 in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

For the first time, Gilman and her co-authors show that even if the weather warms the air and water the same amounts in one area as another, the actual effect on mussel body temperatures can vary because of local climate. For example, in Washington, air temperature appears to be more important in driving mussel temperature while in southern California, water temperature is the more important factor.

"This is an important consideration for conservation biologists trying to understand how a species might handle global warming and to those proposing reserves in marine environments," Gilman says. "Protected areas will need to be in places where marine animals can live in the face of climate change."

In work funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, data loggers –- tiny computers with thermometers -– have been used to collect information in mussel beds. The data loggers, nicknamed "robomussels," record the temperatures being experienced by the surrounding mussels every 10 minutes for months at a time.

A new computer model described in the paper relates the collected data to meterological information researched by Gilman. Using the model and applying a moderate air temperature warming of 2.25 F across the California mussels’ range resulted in mussel body temperature increases ranging from just under 2 F to just over 2 F depending on the habitat. Modeling a more extreme air warming of 7.5 F by 2100 across the mussels’ geographic range resulted in body temperature increases ranging from about 4 F to 6.5 F. "We have only contributed ’step one,’ the tie between climate and body temperature," says co-author Brian Helmuth, associate professor of biological sciences at the University of South Carolina. "With our model we can predict temperatures based on satellites and computer models of climate change. The next step is to work with physiologists to see just what body temperatures California mussels can handle.

"Unfortunately, from what we can tell so far, California mussels are likely already pretty close to the edge, at least at some places along the West Coast. Our study suggests that climate change may start to kill marine animals in some unanticipated places. However, we can use modern technologies such as remote sensing to forecast some of these impacts."

Intertidal habitats, places uncovered at low tide and flooded with water at high tide, have long served as models for investigating the effects of climate on species distribution and monitoring the consequences of climate change for natural ecosystems, write Gilman, Helmuth and another co-author David Wethey, professor of biological sciences at South Carolina. In the course of some low tides, intertidal organisms such as California mussels –- or Mytilus californianus -– may already experience temperatures near the maximum they can tolerate, so they are thought to be a good organism to watch for responses to climate change.

"The bottom line is, as humans, we tend to have this very biased view of the world and we forget that changes in air temperature, which tend to have only very small direct effect on us, can have huge effects on other species," Helmuth says. "This is especially true for species that have temperatures driven by the sun, wind and air temperature, much as the way your car heats up on a sunny day."

Sandra Hines | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.washington.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht For a chimpanzee, one good turn deserves another
27.06.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

nachricht New method to rapidly map the 'social networks' of proteins
27.06.2017 | Salk Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>