Sensitivity to stress in the bivalve Macoma balthica from the most northern (Arctic) to the most southern (French) populations: Low sensitivity in Arctic populations because of genetic adaptations?

Herman Hummel, Roelof Bogaards, Tatiana Bek, Lennard Polishchuk, Claude Amiard-Triquet, Guy Bachelet, Michel Desprez, Peter Strelkov, Alex Sukhotin, Andrei Naumov, Salve Dahle, Stanislav Denisenko, Michael Gantsevich, Kirill Sokolov, Lein De Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

The stress sensitivity, determined in copper exposure experiments and in survival in air tests, and the genetic structure, measured by means of isoenzyme electrophoresis, were assessed in populations of the Baltic clam Macoma balthica (L.) from its southern to its northern distribution limit, in order to test the hypotheses that near the distribution limit the clams would be more stress sensitive and would have a lower genetic variability. The populations in west and north Europe show a strong genetic resemblance. The populations in the sub-Arctic White Sea are genetically slightly different, and show a low stress sensitivity. The populations in the Arctic Pechora Sea are genetically very distant from the other populations, and show the lowest stress sensitivity. Near the southern distribution limit, in agreement with the hypotheses, genetic variability is low and stress sensitivity high. On the other hand, in contrast to expectation, near the northern distribution limit, in the populations of the Pechora Sea, the genetic variability was higher, thus not reduced, and the stress sensitivity was low compared to all other populations. Yet, it remains a question if such is due to gradual physiological acclimatization (and ongoing differential selection) or to genetic adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-138
Number of pages12
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume355
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1997

Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Arctic
  • Copper
  • Distribution limit
  • Genetics
  • Geographic cline
  • Macoma balthica
  • Stress sensitivity
  • Survival in air

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