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The temperature‐size rule emerges from ontogenetic differences between growth and development rates

Forster, Jack, Hirst, Andrew G.
Functional ecology 2012 v.26 no.2 pp. 483-492
Artemia franciscana, adults, cold, larvae, models, ontogeny, rearing, soaking, temperature
1. The temperature‐size rule (TSR) is a widespread phenomenon, which describes the phenotypic plastic response of species’ size to temperature: individuals reared at colder temperatures mature as larger adults than at warmer temperatures. 2. The TSR is driven by an unequal thermal response of growth and development rates. However, we currently lack an understanding of how these rates change through ontogeny and their decoupling. Further, we do not know how this decoupling varies across generations. 3. Using the brine shrimp Artemia franciscana as a model, we examine growth and development rates through ontogeny at different temperatures across two generations. 4. The slopes of natural‐logged weight‐specific growth rates against temperature are steeper in earlier than later larval stages, indicating their greater temperature dependence, whereas development rates maintain the same temperature dependence across life stages. An inverse TSR is generated in early larval stages; the typical TSR (smaller size at warmer temperatures) is only established later in ontogeny. 5. Phase‐specific temperature dependence of growth and development rates is not significantly different across the 1st and 2nd generation, suggesting the TSR is primarily a within‐generation outcome. 6. Ontogenetic size responses in Artemia are compared to other crustacean species to identify patterns within this subphylum. Data for a range of crustaceans follow the same ontogenetic pattern: early larval stages show an inverse or no TSR, with TSR being only established in later stages. Adults often, but not always, show the greatest response.