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Family-level variation in early life-cycle traits of kelp


Mabin, CJT and Johnson, CR and Wright, JT, Family-level variation in early life-cycle traits of kelp, Journal of Phycology, 55, (2) pp. 380-392. ISSN 0022-3646 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2018 Phycological Society of America

DOI: doi:10.1111/jpy.12820


Temperate kelp forests (Laminarians) are threatened by temperature stress due to ocean warming and photoinhibition due to increased light associated with canopy loss. However, the potential for evolutionary adaptation in kelp to rapid climate change is not well known. This study examined family‐level variation in physiological and photosynthetic traits in the early life‐cycle stages of the ecologically important Australasian kelp Ecklonia radiata and the response of E. radiata families to different temperature and light environments using a family × environment design. There was strong family‐level variation in traits relating to morphology (surface area measures, branch length, branch count) and photosynthetic performance (Fv/Fm) in both haploid (gametophyte) and diploid (sporophyte) stages of the life‐cycle. Additionally, the presence of family × environment interactions showed that offspring from different families respond differently to temperature and light in the branch length of male gametophytes and oogonia surface area of female gametophytes. Negative responses to high temperatures were stronger for females vs. males. Our findings suggest E. radiata may be able to respond adaptively to climate change but studies partitioning the narrow vs. broad sense components of heritable variation are needed to establish the evolutionary potential of E. radiata to adapt under climate change.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:adaptive potential, climate change, early life-history traits, Ecklonia radiata, genotype × environment, kelp morphology, photosynthesis
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Mabin, CJT (Dr Christopher Mabin)
UTAS Author:Johnson, CR (Professor Craig Johnson)
UTAS Author:Wright, JT (Associate Professor Jeffrey Wright)
ID Code:131441
Year Published:2019 (online first 2018)
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2019-03-19
Last Modified:2020-05-11

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