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Thermotolerance and regeneration in the brittle star species complex Ophioderma longicauda: A preliminary study comparing lineages and Mediterranean basins

November 11, 2013

Global warming is expected to change marine species distributions; it is thus critical to understand species current thermotolerance. The brittle star species complex Ophioderma longicauda comprises a broadcast spawning lineage L1 and a brooding lineage L3. We collected L1 specimens from Marseilles and Crete, and L3 specimens from Crete. We monitored survival, autotomy and arm regeneration at 17, 26 and 30 °C during 14 weeks. Globally O. longicauda showed good resistance to elevated temperatures compared to other published studies on ophiuroids. The L3 sample displayed a better thermotolerance than L1 samples. Yet, more research is needed to establish whether these differences are due to lineages, geographic origin, or random effects. We provided for the first time individual regeneration trajectories, and showed that regeneration followed a growth curve and was highly influenced by temperature in both lineages. Our results highlight the importance of taking into account the presence of cryptic species when studying the potential effects of global warming.

Anh-Thu Weber A, Dupont S, Chenuil A, in press. Thermotolerance and regeneration in the brittle star species complex Ophioderma longicauda: A preliminary study comparing lineages and Mediterranean basins, Comptes Rendus Biologies, 2013, doi:10.1016/j.crvi.2013.10.004. Article.

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