Direct and transgenerational effects of an experimental heatwave on early life stages in a freshwater snail
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
1. Global climate change imposes a serious threat to natural populations of many species. Estimates of the effects of climate change‐mediated environmental stresses are, however, often based only on their direct effects on organisms, and neglect the potential transgenerational (e.g. maternal) effects. 2. We tested whether high temperature (i.e. an experimental heatwave), which is known to reduce the performance of adult Lymnaea stagnalis snails, affects the produced offspring (eggs and hatchlings) through maternal effects, and how strong these effects are compared with the effects of direct exposure of offspring to high temperature. We examined the effect of maternal thermal environment (15°C versus 25°C) on per offspring investment (egg size), and the role of both maternal and offspring thermal environments (15°C versus 25°C) on hatching success and developmental time of eggs, offspring survival after hatching, and hatchling size at the age of 5 weeks. 3. Exposure of mothers to high temperature reduced the size of oviposited eggs, increased their hatching success, and also made the onset of hatching earlier. However, high maternal temperature reduced the survival and the final size of hatched juveniles. Direct exposure of offspring to high temperature reduced their survival (both eggs and hatchlings) but increased the developmental rate and growth of those individuals that survived. Interestingly, the magnitude of maternal effects on hatching success of eggs and hatchling survival were similar to the direct effects of high temperature. 4. Our results indicate that heatwaves can affect natural populations through transgenerational maternal effects and that the magnitude of those effects can be equally strong to the direct effects of temperature, although this depends on the trait considered. These findings highlight the importance of considering the transgenerational effects of climate warming when estimating its effects in the wild. Show more
Journal / seriesFreshwater Biology
Pages / Article No.
SubjectClimate change; Environmental stress; Global warming; Lymnaea stagnalis; Maternal effects
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