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Testing Bergmann’s rule in marine copepods


Campbell, MD and Schoeman, DS and Venables, W and Abu-Alhaija, R and Batten, SD and Chiba, S and Coman, F and Davies, CH and Edwards, M and Eriksen, RS and Everett, JD and Fukai, Y and Fukuchi, M and Garrote, OE and Hosie, G and Huggett, JA and Johns, DG and Kitchener, JA and Koubbi, P and McEnnulty, FR and Muxagata, E and Ostle, C and Robinson, KV and Slotwinski, A and Swadling, KM and Takahashi, KT and Tonks, M and Ulribe-Palomino, J and Verheye, HM and Wilson, WH and Worship, MM and Yamaguchi, A and Zhang, W and Richardson, AJ, Testing Bergmann's rule in marine copepods, Ecography, 44, (9) pp. 1283-1295. ISSN 1600-0587 (2021) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2021 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

DOI: doi:10.1111/ecog.05545


Macroecological relationships provide insights into rules that govern ecological systems. Bergmann's rule posits that members of the same clade are larger at colder temperatures. Whether temperature drives this relationship is debated because several other potential drivers covary with temperature. We conducted a near-global comparative analysis on marine copepods (97 830 samples, 388 taxa) to test Bergmann's rule, considering other potential drivers. Supporting Bergmann's rule, we found temperature better predicted size than did latitude or oxygen, with body size decreasing by 43.9% across the temperature range (-1.7 to 30ºC). Body size also decreased by 26.9% across the range in food availability. Our results provide strong support for Bergman's rule in copepods, but emphasises the importance of other drivers in modifying this pattern. As the world warms, smaller copepod species are likely to emerge as ‘winners', potentially reducing rates of fisheries production and carbon sequestration.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:copepods, size, allometry, chlorophyll, continuous plankton recorder, ectotherms, environmental drivers, invertebrate, macroecology, statistical modelling, temperature-size rule, zooplankton
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Swadling, KM (Associate Professor Kerrie Swadling)
ID Code:145922
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2021-08-11
Last Modified:2022-07-07
Downloads:12 View Download Statistics

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