Hot and sick? Impacts of warming and a parasite on the dominant zooplankter of Lake Baikal

Ted Ozersky, Teofil Nakov, Stephanie E. Hampton, Nicholas L. Rodenhouse, Kara H. Woo, Kirill Shchapov, Katie Wright, Helena V. Pislegina, Lyubov R. Izmest'eva, Eugene A. Silow, Maxim A. Timofeev, Marianne V. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Climate warming impacts ecosystems through multiple interacting pathways, including via direct thermal responses of individual taxa and the combined responses of closely interacting species. In this study, we examined how warming and infection by an oomycete parasite (Saprolegnia) affect the dominant zooplankter of Russia's Lake Baikal, the endemic copepod Epischurella baikalensis. We used a combination of laboratory experiments, long-term monitoring data, and population modeling. Experiments showed a large difference in the thermal optima of host and parasite, with strong negative effects of warm temperatures on E. baikalensis survival and reproduction and a negative effect of Saprolegnia infection on survival. Saprolegnia infection had an unexpected positive effect on E. baikalensis reproductive output, which may be consistent with fecundity compensation by females exposed to the parasite. Long-term monitoring data suggested that Saprolegnia infections were most common during the warmest periods of the year. Population models, parameterized with experimental and literature data, correctly predicted the timing of Saprolegnia epizootics, but overestimated the negative effect of warming on E. baikalensis populations. Models suggest that diel vertical migration may allow E. baikalensis to escape the negative effects of increasing temperatures and parasitism and enable E. baikalensis to persist in the face of moderate warming of Lake Baikal. Our results contribute to understanding of how warming and parasitism interact to affect the pelagic ecosystems of cold lakes and oceans and how the consequences of these interacting stressors can vary seasonally, spatially, and interannually.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2772-2786
Number of pages15
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
Volume65
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Steve Katz, Ed Theriot, Elena Litchman, Lev Yampolsky, Stephanie Labou, and Meghan Duffy for useful advice that shaped the research. Comments from Meghan Duffy, Piet Spaak, and three anonymous reviewers helped to substantially improve this manuscript. This work was supported by National Science Foundation Dimensions of Biodiversity awards DEB‐1136637, DEB‐1136667, and DEB‐1136657; grants from the Russian Science Foundation (award 18‐44‐06201); the Russian Ministry of Higher Education and Research (awards FZZE‐2020‐0026 and FZZE‐2020‐0023); and by funding from the Lake Baikal Foundation ( https://baikalfoundation.ru/ ). The long‐term Lake Baikal data are part of data sets no. 2005620028 and no. 2014621482 registered with the government of the Russian Federation.

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Steve Katz, Ed Theriot, Elena Litchman, Lev Yampolsky, Stephanie Labou, and Meghan Duffy for useful advice that shaped the research. Comments from Meghan Duffy, Piet Spaak, and three anonymous reviewers helped to substantially improve this manuscript. This work was supported by National Science Foundation Dimensions of Biodiversity awards DEB-1136637, DEB-1136667, and DEB-1136657; grants from the Russian Science Foundation (award 18-44-06201); the Russian Ministry of Higher Education and Research (awards FZZE-2020-0026 and FZZE-2020-0023); and by funding from the Lake Baikal Foundation (https://baikalfoundation.ru/). The long-term Lake Baikal data are part of data sets no. 2005620028 and no. 2014621482 registered with the government of the Russian Federation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography

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