Time capsules in natural sediment archives-Tracking phytoplankton population genetic diversity and adaptation over multidecadal timescales in the face of environmental change

Marianne Ellegaard, Anna Godhe, Sofia Ribeiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Undisturbed records of resting stages produced in the past and stored in coastal sediments are very valuable to science, because they may provide unique insights into past evolutionary and ecological trajectories. Within marine phytoplankton, multidecadal time series of monoclonal strains germinated from resting stages have been established for diatoms (Skeletonema marinoi) and dinoflagellates (Pentapharsodinium dalei), spanning ca. a century. Phenotypic and genotypic analyses of these time series have revealed effects of past environmental changes on population genetic structure. Future perspectives include direct comparisons of phenotypes and genotypic data of populations, for example, by genomewide assays that can correlate phenotypic trends with genotypes and allele frequencies in temporally separated strains. Besides their usefulness as historical records, “seed” banks of phytoplankton resting stages also have the potential to provide an inoculum that influences present populations through “dispersal from the past” (the storage effect) and are important for adaptation to future environments through their standing genetic diversity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalEvolutionary Applications
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

Keywords

  • diatom
  • dinoflagellate
  • environmental change
  • marine
  • population genetics
  • resting stage
  • sediment record

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate

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