Understanding the responses of multiple traits in phytoplankton, and identifying interspecific variabilities to thermal changes is crucial for predicting the impacts of ocean warming on phytoplankton distributions and community structures in future scenarios. Here, we applied a trait-based approach by examining the patterns in multi-traits variations (eight traits) and interspecific variabilities in five phytoplankton species (two diatoms, three dinoflagellates) in response to a wide range of ecologically relevant temperatures (14-30 °C). Our results show large inter-traits and interspecific variabilities of thermal reaction norms in all of the tested traits. We also found that the interspecific variability exceeded the variations induced by thermal changes. Constrained variations and trade-offs between traits both revealed substantial interspecific differences and shifted as the temperature changed. Our study helps to understand the species-specific response patterns of multiple traits to ocean warming and to investigate the implications of these responses in the context of global change.
- Aquatic Science