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Repeatable inter‐individual variation in the thermal sensitivity of metabolic rate

Abstract : Assessing whether trait variations among individuals are consistent over time and among environmental conditions is crucial to understand evolutionary responses to new selective pressures such as climate change. According to the universal thermal dependence hypothesis, thermal sensitivity of metabolic rate should not vary strongly and consistently among organisms, implying limited evolutionary response for metabolic traits under climate change. However, this hypothesis has been rarely tested at an individual level, leaving a gap in our understanding of climate change impacts on metabolic responses and their potential evolution. Using the amphipod Gammarus fossarum, we investigated the variability and repeatability of individual metabolic thermal reaction norms over time. We found large variations in both the thermal sensitivity (i.e. slope) and expression level (i.e. intercept) of individual metabolic reaction norms. Moreover, differences among individuals were consistent over time, and therefore repeatable. Inter-individual variations in body mass resulted in a high repeatability of metabolic expression level but had no significant effect on the repeatability of thermal sensitivity. Overall, our results highlight that inter-individual variability and repeatability of thermal reaction norms can be substantial. We conclude that these consistent differences among individuals should not be overlooked when apprehending the ecological and evolutionary effects of climate change.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 4, 2019 - 3:11:54 PM
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Tom Réveillon, Thibaut Rota, Eric Chauvet, Antoine Lecerf, Arnaud Sentis. Repeatable inter‐individual variation in the thermal sensitivity of metabolic rate. Oikos, Nordic Ecological Society, 2019, 128 (11), pp.1633-1640. ⟨10.1111/oik.06392⟩. ⟨hal-02345454⟩

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