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How do life-history traits influence the fate of intertidal and subtidal Mytilus galloprovincialis in a changing climate?

AuthorsAndrade, Madalena; Rivera-Ingraham, Georgina; Soares, Amadeu M. V. M.; Miranda Rocha, Rui Jorge; Pereira, Eduarda; Solé, Montserrat CSIC ORCID ; Freitas, Rosa
Oxidative stress
Issue DateMay-2021
CitationEnvironmental Research 196: 110381 (2021)
AbstractCoastal organisms (i.e. intertidal or upper subtidal species) live in between the terrestrial and aquatic realms, making them particularly vulnerable to climate change. In this context, intertidal organisms may suffer from the predicted sea level rise (increasing their submerged time) while subtidal organisms may suffer from anthropically-induced hypoxia and its consequences. Although there is some knowledge on how coastal organisms adapt to environmental changes, the biochemical and physiological consequences of prolonged submergence periods have not yet been well characterized. Thus, the present study aimed to assess the biochemical alterations experienced by intertidal organisms maintained always under tidal exposure (IT); intertidal organisms maintained submersed (IS); subtidal organisms maintained always submersed (SS); subtidal organisms under tidal exposure (ST). For this, Mytilus galloprovincialis specimens from contiguous intertidal and subtidal populations were exposed to the above mentioned conditions for twenty-eight days. Results indicated that both intertidal and subtidal mussels are adapted to the oxidative stress pressure caused by tidal and submerged conditions tested. Intertidal mussels did not seem to be negatively affected by submergence while ST specimens were energetically challenged by tidal exposure. Both IT and ST mussels consumed glycogen to fuel up mechanisms aiming to maintain redox homeostasis. Overall, both intertidal and subtidal populations were capable of coping with tidal exposure, although the strategies employed differed between them. These findings indicate that although IT mussels may not significantly suffer from the longer-term submergence, hypoxic events occurring in the context of global warming and other anthropogenic impacts may have consequences on both IT and ST populations. Altogether, it is important to highlight that tides may act as a confounding factor in experiments concerning coastal organisms, as it causes additional physiological and biochemical perturbations
Description7 pages, 4 figures
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