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Exploring evolution of maximum growth rates in plankton.


ABSTRACT: Evolution has direct and indirect consequences on species-species interactions and the environment. However, Earth systems models describing planktonic activity invariably fail to explicitly consider organism evolution. Here we simulate the evolution of the single most important physiological characteristic of any organism as described in models-its maximum growth rate (?m). Using a low-computational-cost approach, we incorporate the evolution of ?m for each of the plankton components in a simple Nutrient-Phytoplankton-Zooplankton -style model such that the fitness advantages and disadvantages in possessing a high ?m evolve to become balanced. The model allows an exploration of parameter ranges leading to stresses, which drive the evolution of ?m. In applications of the method we show that simulations of climate change give very different projections when the evolution of ?m is considered. Thus, production may decline as evolution reshapes growth and trophic dynamics. Additionally, predictions of extinction of species may be overstated in simulations lacking evolution as the ability to evolve under changing environmental conditions supports evolutionary rescue. The model explains why organisms evolved for mature ecosystems (e.g. temperate summer, reliant on local nutrient recycling or mixotrophy), express lower maximum growth rates than do organisms evolved for immature ecosystems (e.g. temperate spring, high resource availability).

SUBMITTER: Flynn KJ 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7484936 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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