Author

Holmes Julian

ORCID Identifier(s)

0000-0002-5148-3140

Graduation Semester and Year

2015

Language

English

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Matthew Walsh

Abstract

Global temperature increases are predicted to quicken in pace this century, and with them so will the likely impact on natural populations. The extent to which organisms will be able to keep pace with and adapt to these environmental changes is an unanswered question. It has been demonstrated that changing environments can induce changes in phenotypes that persist across generations. TGP may be an important means for populations to cope with climate change stress, but our understanding of these interactions is incomplete. Prior work showed that Daphnia program their offspring for faster development when reared under cooler temperatures. Here I tested the impact of thermal TGP in development on population dynamics and competitive interactions in a species of zooplankton (Daphnia ambigua) from a lake in Connecticut. I found that populations whose parents were reared at cool temperatures had greater rates of population increase when their offspring were transferred to a warmer temperature compared with treatments that experienced consistently warm conditions. This link between parental rearing temperature and rates of population growth are thus likely due to divergent transgenerational effects of temperature on the expression of life history traits. Though, this link between transgenerational responses and population dynamics were much weaker (and non-significant) when the populations were reared in larger mesocosms. My findings call for more research into the relationship between TGP and population dynamics and community interactions.

Keywords

Transgenerational plasticity, Daphnia

Disciplines

Biology | Life Sciences

Comments

Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Biology Commons

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