Justin L. Penn, Curtis Deutsch

Geographical and taxonomic patterns in aerobic traits of marine ectotherms

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology

The metabolism and hypoxia tolerance of marine ectotherms play key roles in limiting species geographical ranges, but underlying traits have only been directly measured for a small fraction of biodiversity. Here we diagnose and analyse spatial and phylogenetic patterns in hypoxia tolerance and its temperature sensitivity at ecologically active metabolic rates, by combining a model of organismal oxygen (O 2 ) balance with global climate and biogeographic data for approximately 25 000 animal species from 13 phyla. Large-scale spatial trait patterns reveal that active hypoxia tolerance is greater and less temperature sensitive among tropical species compared to polar ones, consistent with sparse experimental data. Species energetic demands for activity vary less with temperature than resting costs, an inference confirmed by available rate measurements. Across the tree of life, closely related species share similar hypoxia traits, indicating that evolutionary history shapes physiological tolerances to O 2 and temperature. Trait frequencies are highly conserved across phyla, suggesting the breadth of global aerobic conditions selects for convergent trait diversity. Our results support aerobic limitation as a constraint on marine habitat distributions and their responses to climate change and highlight the under-sampling of aerobic traits among species living in the ocean's tropical and polar oxythermal extremes. This article is part of the theme issue ‘The evolutionary significance of variation in metabolic rates’.

Need a simple solution for managing your BibTeX entries? Explore CiteDrive!

  • Web-based, modern reference management
  • Collaborate and share with fellow researchers
  • Integration with Overleaf
  • Comprehensive BibTeX/BibLaTeX support
  • Save articles and websites directly from your browser
  • Search for new articles from a database of tens of millions of references
Try out CiteDrive

More from our Archive