Shallow, tropical marine ecosystems provide essential ecosystem goods and services, but it is unknown how these ecosystems will respond to the increased exposure to the temperature extremes that are likely to become more common as climate change progresses. To address this issue, we tracked the fitness and productivity of a key zooplankton species, the copepod Pseudodiaptomus annandalei, acclimated at two temperatures (30 and 34 °C) over three generations. 30 °C is the mean temperature in the shallow water of the coastal regions in Southeast Asia, while 34 °C simulated a temperature extreme that occurs frequently during the summer period. For each generation, we measured the size at maturity and reproductive success of individuals. In all three generations, we found strong negative effects of warming on all measured fitness-related parameters, including prolonged development time, reduced size at maturity, smaller clutch sizes, lower hatching success, and reduced naupliar production. Our results suggest that P. annandalei are already exposed to temperatures that exceed their upper thermal optimum. Increased exposure to extreme temperatures may reduce the abundance of these tropical marine copepods, and thus reduce the availability of resources to higher trophic levels.
- Climate-change ecology
- Tropical ecology