Reviews and Synthesis
Evolutionary potential of marine phytoplankton under ocean acidification
Article first published online: 25 NOV 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Evolutionary Applications published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Special Issue: Climate change, adaptation and phenotypic plasticity
Volume 7, Issue 1, pages 140–155, January 2014
How to Cite
Collins, S., Rost, B. and Rynearson, T. A. (2014), Evolutionary potential of marine phytoplankton under ocean acidification. Evolutionary Applications, 7: 140–155. doi: 10.1111/eva.12120
- Issue published online: 8 JAN 2014
- Article first published online: 25 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Received: 1 APR 2013
- Royal Society UK University Research Fellowship
- European Research Council (ERC) FP7. Grant Numbers: 260266, 205150
- US NSF. Grant Number: OCE0727227
- experimental evolution;
- global change;
- ocean acidification;
Marine phytoplankton have many obvious characters, such as rapid cell division rates and large population sizes, that give them the capacity to evolve in response to global change on timescales of weeks, months or decades. However, few studies directly investigate if this adaptive potential is likely to be realized. Because of this, evidence of to whether and how marine phytoplankton may evolve in response to global change is sparse. Here, we review studies that help predict evolutionary responses to global change in marine phytoplankton. We find limited support from experimental evolution that some taxa of marine phytoplankton may adapt to ocean acidification, and strong indications from studies of variation and structure in natural populations that selection on standing genetic variation is likely. Furthermore, we highlight the large body of literature on plastic responses to ocean acidification available, and evolutionary theory that may be used to link plastic and evolutionary responses. Because of the taxonomic breadth spanned by marine phytoplankton, and the diversity of roles they fill in ocean ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles, we stress the necessity of treating taxa or functional groups individually.