Dataset Information


Temperature is a poor proxy for synergistic climate forcing of plankton evolution.

ABSTRACT: Changes in biodiversity at all levels from molecules to ecosystems are often linked to climate change, which is widely represented univariately by temperature. A global environmental driving mechanism of biodiversity dynamics is thus implied by the strong correlation between temperature proxies and diversity patterns in a wide variety of fauna and flora. Yet climate consists of many interacting variables. Species probably respond to the entire climate system as opposed to its individual facets. Here, we examine ecological and morphological traits of 12 633 individuals of two species of planktonic foraminifera with similar ecologies but contrasting evolutionary outcomes. Our results show that morphological and ecological changes are correlated to the interactions between multiple environmental factors. Models including interactions between climate variables explain at least twice as much variation in size, shape and abundance changes as models assuming that climate parameters operate independently. No dominant climatic driver can be identified: temperature alone explains remarkably little variation through our highly resolved temporal sequences, implying that a multivariate approach is required to understand evolutionary response to abiotic forcing. Our results caution against the use of a 'silver bullet' environmental parameter to represent global climate while studying evolutionary responses to abiotic change, and show that more comprehensive reconstruction of palaeobiological dynamics requires multiple biotic and abiotic dimensions.

SUBMITTER: Brombacher A 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6083249 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): 10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4154438

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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