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Mechanisms of Rapid Adaptation to Environmental Stressors in Phytoplankton

AuthorsBaselga-Cervera, B.; López-Rodas, Victoria ; Balboa, García; Huertas, I. Emma ; Costas, Eduardo
Anthropogenic stressors
Rapid adaptation
Multi-generational studies
Evolutionary toxicology
Environmental risk assessment
Issue Date27-Sep-2016
PublisherOMICS Publishing Group
CitationJournal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology 6(5): 405 (2016)
AbstractIn the current scenario of global change, the impact of anthropogenic stressors is affecting the aquatic ecosystems, especially essential microorganisms such as phytoplankton, driving toward a biodiversity crisis. Classic ecotoxicology studies, focused on the immediate tolerance to pollution, have provide an over simplistic understanding of the long time impact of pollutants on phytoplankton (because of the usual misconception that evolutionary changes can only take place at long-term), inadequate to enable a suitable environmental risk assessment (ERA). Currently, concepts such as predictive ecology and integrating strategies are rising rapidly in prominence with regard to forecasting phytoplankton response to human impact. This review compiles the state of the art of multigenerational and evolutionary experimental studies and the mechanisms that trigger rapid adaptation in phytoplankton to anthropogenic stressors, highlighting the importance of ecology and evolution. Ecological realisms is one of the challenging parts of the stressors hazard, considering the broad phytoplankton diversity and the multifactorial character of the natural ambiances. Field and community experiments contribute to a better discerning of ecology interactions and network relations. Moreover, laboratory experiments exploring evolutionary mechanisms that allow rapid adaptation to contaminants (e.g., fluctuation analysis or ratchet procedures) have proven to be useful linking concentration of pollutants and adaptation strategy. When environmental change exceeds the range of variation that can be coped with by organisms through plasticity, selection processes may occur and evolutionary dynamics take place. Ecology and evolution are necessary to enhance the ERA knowledge and novel experiments may well emerge from the when contemplated as whole.
DescriptionThis is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.4172/2161-0525.1000405
Appears in Collections:(ICMAN) Artículos
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