University Of Tasmania
149454 - Metabolic plasticity improves lobsters resilience to ocean warming.pdf (1.82 MB)

Metabolic plasticity improves lobster’s resilience to ocean warming but not to climate-driven novel species interactions

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Marine species not only suffer from direct effects of warming oceans but also indirectly via the emergence of novel species interactions. While metabolic adjustments can be crucial to improve resilience to warming, it is largely unknown if this improves performance relative to novel competitors. We aimed to identify if spiny lobsters—inhabiting a global warming and species re-distribution hotspot—align their metabolic performance to improve resilience to both warming and novel species interactions. We measured metabolic and escape capacity of two Australian spiny lobsters, resident Jasus edwardsii and the range-shifting Sagmariasus verreauxi, acclimated to current average—(14.0 °C), current summer—(17.5 °C) and projected future summer—(21.5 °C) habitat temperatures. We found that both species decreased their standard metabolic rate with increased acclimation temperature, while sustaining their scope for aerobic metabolism. However, the resident lobster showed reduced anaerobic escape performance at warmer temperatures and failed to match the metabolic capacity of the range-shifting lobster. We conclude that although resident spiny lobsters optimise metabolism in response to seasonal and future temperature changes, they may be unable to physiologically outperform their range-shifting competitors. This highlights the critical importance of exploring direct as well as indirect effects of temperature changes to understand climate change impacts.


Publication title

Scientific Reports



Article number









Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Nature Publishing Group

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2022 The Author(s) Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Aquaculture rock lobster; Wild caught rock lobster