Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1890/ES11-00157.1
Title (Primary) Significant habitat effects influence protist fitness: evidence for local adaptation from acidic mining lakes
Author Weisse, T.; Berendonk, T.; Kamjunke, N.; Moser, M.; Scheffel, U.; Stadler, P.; Weithoff, G.
Source Titel Ecosphere
Year 2011
Department FLOEK
Volume 2
Issue 12
Page From art. 134
Language englisch
Keywords allopatric speciation; Chlamydomonas acidophila; ciliates; everything is everywhere; flagellates; freshwater microbes; habitat-species interaction; local adaptation; Ochromonas spp; Oxytricha spp

It is currently controversially discussed if the same freshwater microorganisms occur worldwide wherever their required habitats are realized, i.e., without any adaptation to local conditions below the species level. We performed laboratory experiments with flagellates and ciliates from three acidic mining lakes (AML, pH 2.7) to investigate if similar habitats may affect similar organisms differently. Such man-made lakes provide suitable ecosystem models to test for the significance of strong habitat selection. To this end, we analyzed the growth response of three protist taxa (three strains of the phytoflagellate Chlamydomonas acidophila, two isolates of the phytoflagellate Ochromonas and two species of the ciliate genus Oxytricha) by exposing them to lake water of their origin and from the two other AML in a cross-factorial design. Population growth rates were measured as a proxy for their fitness. Results revealed significant effects of strain, lake (=habitat), and strain × habitat interaction. In the environmentally most adverse AML, all three protist taxa were locally adapted. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that (1) the same habitat may affect strains of the same species differently and that (2) similar habitats may harbor ecophysiologically different strains or species. These results contradict the ‘everything is everywhere' paradigm.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Weisse, T., Berendonk, T., Kamjunke, N., Moser, M., Scheffel, U., Stadler, P., Weithoff, G. (2011):
Significant habitat effects influence protist fitness: evidence for local adaptation from acidic mining lakes
Ecosphere 2 (12), art. 134 10.1890/ES11-00157.1