The role of transgenerational plasticity in eco-evolutionary dynamics of Wadden Sea subtidal communities

Lisa.Shama [ at ]


1. In eco-evolutionary dynamics (EED), evolution and ecology play out on the same time scales and influence each other. Traits get altered by climate change, and transgenerational (TGP) and within-generation plasticity (WGP) can provide big potential for populations to cope with climate change-induced ecological shifts. 2. Here it was tested if phenotypic plasticity (WGP and TGP) in response to climate change influences eco-evolutionary dynamics of an experimental community. For this, a mesocosm experiment using a F1 generation of marine Gasterasteus aculeatus individuals reared under three climate change scenarios were used as treatment to measure ecosystem metrics to track potential effects on EED. 3. This research could not demonstrate significant effects of climate change-induced plasticity due to fish acclimation history on ecosystem metrics of the experimental community. The results rather underline the complexity of community and ecosystem variables and the small effect size of plasticity in the current study in relation to these. 4. For now, there are no published studies of the influence of TGP on EED, hence it is difficult to classify the results in the context of previous findings. This research can be seen as the door opener to eco-evolutionary research aiming to understand consequences of plasticity within and across generations under climate change. 5. Upcoming research relating to this study should investigate plastic traits that are more tightly coupled between trophic levels, e.g. predator-prey dynamics. Furthermore, experiments should also target multi-species approaches to prevent single-species biases, and experiments should be conducted in the field, as currently studies of eco-evolutionary dynamics are primarily single species- trait mesocosm experiments.

Item Type
Thesis (Bachelor)
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Publication Status
Eprint ID
Cite as
Bukowski, C. (2019): The role of transgenerational plasticity in eco-evolutionary dynamics of Wadden Sea subtidal communities Bachelor thesis,

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email

Geographical region

Research Platforms


Funded by
AWI Strategy Funds Grant 2017 Coping with climate change via epigenetics

Edit Item Edit Item