Global climate change has profound impact in terrestrial and aquatic environments (e.g. gradual warming, severe heat waves, etc.) has noticeable effects on animal behavior and distribution. Conversely, physiological attributes (e.g. phenotypic plasticity - the ability of individual genotypes to produce different phenotypes when exposed to different environmental conditions) susceptible to adjustments over climatic environmental changes are less obvious, and, therefore, important when evaluating the interaction between physiology and climate across species . Allowing an ectotherm to acclimate under different environmental conditions may generate more realistic interpretations of presumptive climate effects on species' physiology. One of the possible responses is thermal compensation in which a physiological rate remains relatively constant despite variations in ambient temperature. The respiratory and cardiovascular systems are tightly coupled to maintain adequate oxygen delivery to metabolically active tissues, and cardio-respiratory adjustments are always required whenever metabolic demands change under thermal conditions. Thermal acclimation of metabolism and cardiorespiratory functions seems to be crucial for many ectotherms favoring those plastic phenotypes by conferring resilience against chronic, recurring, and unpredictable changes in environmental conditions. Therefore, the main objective of the present proposal is to determine to what degree environmental-acclimation owing to stressors relevant to global change (e.g. warming, hypoxia and increased salinity) provides adaptive physiological plasticity and confers cross-tolerance to acute warming in aquatic organisms.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: