University Of Tasmania

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Rapid evolution of highly variable competitive abilities in a key phytoplankton species

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 05:20 authored by Lennart BachLennart Bach, Lohbeck, KT, Reusch, TBH, Riebesell, U
Climate change challenges plankton communities, but evolutionary adaptation could mitigate the potential impacts. Here, we tested with the phytoplankton species Emiliania huxleyi whether adaptation to a stressor under laboratory conditions leads to equivalent fitness gains in a more natural environment. We found that fitness advantages that had evolved under laboratory conditions were masked by pleiotropic effects in natural plankton communities. Moreover, new genotypes with highly variable competitive abilities evolved on timescales significantly shorter than climate change.


Publication title

Nature Ecology and Evolution






Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Nature Publishing Group

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences