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The impact of abiotic factors on hybrid Daphnia populations across the Alps: are pollution effects irreversible? (4th year prolongation)

Applicant Spaak Pieter
Number 140996
Funding scheme Interdisciplinary projects
Research institution Aquatische Umweltanalytik EAWAG
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology - EAWAG
Main discipline Ecology
Start/End 01.10.2012 - 30.09.2013
Approved amount 96'319.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Ecology
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Geology
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology

Keywords (10)

evolution; toxic compounds; zooplankton; sediment; resurrection ecology; pollution; hybridization; population genetics; biodiversity; lakes

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

Anthropogenic activities, e.g. eutrophication and pollutants, can affect the evolution of natural populations and species by altering selective forces. We use DNA from diapausing stages (ephippia) of small crustaceans, buried in the lake sediment, to reconstruct these effects over several decades.

Background
During the first 3 year of this project we collected more than 100 sediment cores from 12 lakes focusing on peri-alpine lakes south of the Alps. So far, we have been able to reconstruct the population dynamics of three hybridizing water flea species, the Daphnia longispina-galeata-cucullata complex, for Lago di Varese and Lago d’Endine. Our first results indicate changes in species composition and  extensive hybridizations during the phase of eutrophication. These changes can be explained by invasion of new water flea species into the lake, facilitated by the changing trophic conditions, and changes in fish predation pressure. Additionally, we were also able to reconstruct the invasion of D. pulicaria into Lower Lake Constance during peak eutrophication in the 1970s and the development of its population in the following decades from the sediments.
        Furthermore, we have measured concentrations of micropollutants in the sediments of Lake Greifensee and we collected thousands of ephippia from the lake.

Goals for the 4th year (this project)
We aim to add more samples and lakes to our analysis to obtain a more general picture of the invasions and microevolutionary changes in Daphnia populations during eutrophication and to assess the extent to which these changes are reversible.
        We will conduct an exposure experiment with the collected ephippia from Lake Greifensee and the toxic compounds measured in the sediments in order to test if these compounds affect hatching success and survival.

Importance
This research will provide new insights on the impact of eutrophication and pollution on species composition, microevolutionary dynamics and patterns of invasion of zooplankton and in particular provide information on the reversibility of these processes. Furthermore, our toxicology experiment will reveal if micropollutants deposited in lake sediments pose a hazard to aquatic organism relying on an egg bank.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Bioconcentration of organic contaminants in Daphnia resting eggs
Chiaia-Hernandez, Ashauer Roman, Moest Markus, Hollingshaus Tobias, Jeon Junho, Spaak Piet, Hollender Juliane (2013), Bioconcentration of organic contaminants in Daphnia resting eggs, in Environmental Science and Technology, 47(18), 10667-10675.
Hybridization and speciation
Abbott, Albach Dirk C., Ansell Stephen W., Arntzen Jan W., Baird Stuart J E, Bierne Nicolas, Boughman Janette Wenrick, Brelsford Alan, Buerkle C. Alex, Buggs Richard J. A., Butlin Roger K., Dieckmann Ulf, Eroukhmanoff Fabrice, Grill Andrea, Cahan Sara Helms, Hermansen Jo S., Hewitt Godfrey M., Hudson Alan G., Jiggins Chris D D., Jones Julia Colin H, Keller Beat A., Marczewski T., Mallet James L B, Martínez-Rodríguez Paloma, Möst Markus (2013), Hybridization and speciation, in Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 26(2), 229-246.
Preface
Manca Marina, Spaak Piet (2013), Preface, in Hydrobiologia, 715, 1-4.
Screening of lake sediments for emerging contaminants by liquid chromatography atmospheric pressure photoionization and electrospray ionization coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry
Chiaia-Hernandez Aurea C., Krauss Martin, Hollender Juliane (2013), Screening of lake sediments for emerging contaminants by liquid chromatography atmospheric pressure photoionization and electrospray ionization coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry, in Environmental Science and Technology, 47(2), 976-986.
At the edge and on the top: molecular identification and ecology of Daphnia dentifera and D. longispina in high-altitude Asian lakes
Möst Markus, Petrusek Adam, Sommaruga Ruben, Juračka Petr Jan, Slusarczyk Miroslav, Manca Marina, Spaak Piet (2012), At the edge and on the top: molecular identification and ecology of Daphnia dentifera and D. longispina in high-altitude Asian lakes, in Hydrobiologia, 715, 51-62.
Modes and mechanisms of a Daphnia invasion
Spaak Piet, Fox Jennifer Ann, Hairston Nelson G Jr (2012), Modes and mechanisms of a Daphnia invasion, in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279(1740), 2936-2944.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Dr Marina Manca / Dr Pierro Guilizzoni, CNR Institute for Ecosystem Studies Pallanza Italy (Europe)
- Publication
Dr. Barbara Leoni and Prof. Dr. Letizia Garibaldi, Università degli Studi di Milano - Bicocca Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Prof. Dr. Beate Escher, EnTox, University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. N.G. Hairston Jr., Dept. Ecology and Evolution, Cornell University United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. A. Schäffer, Prof. T. Ratte, Prof. H. Hollert, Inst. Env. Biol. Chemodynamics, RWTH Aachen Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
23rd SETAC Europe Annual Meeting, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. Talk given at a conference Can organic contaminants in lake sediments bioaccumulate in Daphnia resting eggs? 12.05.2013 Glasgow, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Hollender Juliane; Möst Markus; Spaak Pieter; Hernandez Ramirez-Chiaia Aurea;
23rd SETAC Europe Annual Meeting, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. Poster Target, suspect and non-target screening of lake sediments using HR-MS/MS 12.05.2013 Glasgow, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Hollender Juliane; Hernandez Ramirez-Chiaia Aurea;
Symposium of Ecology and Evolution Doctoral Students Talk given at a conference Assessing the human impact on the evolutionary history of lentic keystone species 17.12.2012 Berb, Switzerland Möst Markus;
Evolutionary Ecology and the Management of Aquatic Ecosystems Symposium (Applied Evo) Poster Invasive Daphnia species – they are here to stay 22.11.2012 Dübendorf, Switzerland Möst Markus;
Zurich Interaction Seminar Evolutions Biologie Talk given at a conference Assessing the human impact on Daphnia populations in peri-alpine lakes 08.10.2012 Zürich, Switzerland Möst Markus;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Vom Netz zum Laserstrahl Hightech in der Greifenseeforschung German-speaking Switzerland 2012

Awards

Title Year
SNF Early PostDoc.Mobility fellowship 2013

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
135750 Host - parasite interactions in hybridizing Daphnia, the role of variable environments: part 2. 01.01.2012 Project funding
65003 Biotic interactions and the maintenance of a Daphnia hybrid species complex 01.04.2002 Project funding
125211 The impact of abiotic factors on hybrid Daphnia populations across the Alps: are pollution effects irreversible? 01.10.2009 Interdisciplinary projects

Abstract

Background - The effect of rapid ecological change in ecosystems has been the topic in many studies of recent years. Only a limited number have concentrated on the impact of invading and hybridizing taxa and even fewer were able to determine the ecological and evolutionary processes occurring in these scenarios. It is a fact that anthropogenic alterations of habitats have facilitated successful invasions of species. Furthermore, interspecific hybridization between the invader and the indigenous species has led to irreversible changes in the genetic composition of present populations. Today, many freshwater bodies have recovered from anthropogenically induced eutrophication 30 - 50 years ago. Nevertheless, toxic compounds are still present, and together with climate change they represent future threats for natural populations of planktonic organisms.Two years ago (1 October 2009) we started an SNF-funded interdisciplinary project to investigate the role of toxic anthropogenic compounds on the change in hybridizing Daphnia populations (SNF CR32I3_125211). During the first two years of this 3-year funded project we made significant progress with reconstructing the Daphnia population from several North-Italian lakes as well as establishing a new sediment-based method to reconstruct the chemical pollution of lakes. Moreover first experiments were started to investigate the influence of some selected chemicals on Daphnia resting stages.With this proposal we apply for a 1-year extension of the project, because we experienced some unforeseen obstacles and opportunities. In Lake Endine and all the other sampled lakes in the south, the number of usable resting stages was much lower as was expected on the basis of lakes north of the Alps, which caused a significant delay. Also the number of chemicals that we could detect was higher than expected. This positive result also causes a delay, because we needed more time to select the chemicals most suitable for our experiments. Working Hypothesis / First results - For the whole project we hypothesize that D. galeata is native to lakes south of the Alps and D. longispina (formerly described as D. hyalina) in the north, so that we expect to find this pattern in diapause archives of selected lakes. To test this hypothesis we analysed the past population structure using high-resolution molecular markers and advanced analysis software. First results from Lake Endine show that also D. galeata is present deeper in the sediment, i.e. in older layers. This result, however, needs to be confirmed in other lakes. In the last year of this project we want to test the hypothesis whether toxic compounds affect the succession of taxa within a lake. We will conduct target and suspect screening of lake sediments from the north and south of the Alps, as well as experiments with selected pollutants. Our aim is to better understand the impact of present and future stressors and, furthermore, understand how they interact with interspecific hybridization and introgression. Experimental Design and / or Methods - The proposed research plan blends several disciplines: evolutionary biology and ecotoxicology/ecochemistry, which are to be studied from a “paleo-perspective”. We are confident that, with this approach, we can reconstruct habitat perturbation over the last century and establish models that can be used to determine the reactions of Daphnia, a model for Holarctic freshwater organisms, to future changes in their abiotic environment. Two PhD students work on three work packages: A: Sediment & Population Genetics; B: Sediment & Chemistry and C: Ecotoxicology. The student working on Part B started 7 month before the official SNF project started, that’s why we request additionally salary for 12 + 5 months.Expected Value of the Proposed Project - This research will provide new insights on the impact of toxic compounds, on hybridizing (invasive) species and the potential effect on biodiversity. Our research will show the role of environmental variation in these species interactions, and provide novel insights into the genetic patterns of adaptive traits to chemical stressors.
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