IMIS | Lifewatch regional portal

You are here


[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Print this page

Exploring the response of a key Mediterranean gorgonian to heat stress across biological and spatial scales
Gómez-Gras, D.; Bensoussan, N.; Ledoux, J.-B.; López-Sendino, P.; Cerrano, C.; Ferretti, E.; Kipson, S.; Bakran-Petricioli, T.; Serrão, E.A.; Paulo, D.; Coelho, M.A.G.; Pearson, G.A.; Boavida, J.; Montero-Serra, I.; Pagès-Escolà, M.; Medrano, A.; López-Sanz, À.; Milanese, M.; Linares, C.; Garrabou, J. (2022). Exploring the response of a key Mediterranean gorgonian to heat stress across biological and spatial scales. NPG Scientific Reports 12(1): 21064 .
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 


Authors  Top 
  • Gómez-Gras, D.
  • Bensoussan, N.
  • Ledoux, J.-B.
  • López-Sendino, P.
  • Cerrano, C.
  • Ferretti, E.
  • Kipson, S.
  • Bakran-Petricioli, T.
  • Serrão, E.A.
  • Paulo, D.
  • Coelho, M.A.G.
  • Pearson, G.A.
  • Boavida, J.
  • Montero-Serra, I.
  • Pagès-Escolà, M.
  • Medrano, A.
  • López-Sanz, À.
  • Milanese, M., more
  • Linares, C.
  • Garrabou, J., more

    Understanding the factors and processes that shape intra-specific sensitivity to heat stress is fundamental to better predicting the vulnerability of benthic species to climate change. Here, we investigate the response of a habitat-forming Mediterranean octocoral, the red gorgonian Paramuricea clavata (Risso, 1826) to thermal stress at multiple biological and geographical scales. Samples from eleven P. clavata populations inhabiting four localities separated by hundreds to more than 1500 km of coast and with contrasting thermal histories were exposed to a critical temperature threshold (25 °C) in a common garden experiment in aquaria. Ten of the 11 populations lacked thermotolerance to the experimental conditions provided (25 days at 25 °C), with 100% or almost 100% colony mortality by the end of the experiment. Furthermore, we found no significant association between local average thermal regimes nor recent thermal history (i.e., local water temperatures in the 3 months prior to the experiment) and population thermotolerance. Overall, our results suggest that local adaptation and/or acclimation to warmer conditions have a limited role in the response of P. clavata to thermal stress. The study also confirms the sensitivity of this species to warm temperatures across its distributional range and questions its adaptive capacity under ocean warming conditions. However, important inter-individual variation in thermotolerance was found within populations, particularly those exposed to the most severe prior marine heatwaves. These observations suggest that P. clavata could harbor adaptive potential to future warming acting on standing genetic variation (i.e., divergent selection) and/or environmentally-induced phenotypic variation (i.e., intra- and/or intergenerational plasticity).

All data in the Integrated Marine Information System (IMIS) is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors