Elevated temperatures increase growth and enhance foraging performances of a marine gastropod

Nan Hu, Zhenglin Yu, Yajuan Huang, Dapeng Liu, Fang Wang, Tao Zhang

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    1 Citation (SciVal)


    The oceans continue to warm due to rising atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Most climate-change studies of aquaculture species use temperature changes based on coarse-resolution climate models and without considering thermal ranges of an animal. Coarse-resolution climate models are generated by global-scale data, which is insufficient to capture the conditions of coastal areas where most aquaculture activity occurs. Therefore, ocean warming research on coastal organisms requires a more comprehensive design to include broad temperature gradients. By using the ecologically and commercially important coastal whelk Rapana venosa, we combined long-term and short-term experiments and selected 4 temperature treatments (19, 23, 27, and 30°C) to simulate different scenarios to test ocean warming effects on growth rates and foraging performances of whelks. We found that elevated temperature within the whelk’s thermal range (23 and 27°C) significantly increased growth rates and enhanced foraging performances of marine whelks when compared to the current temperature (19°C). Conversely, the whelk’s performance collapsed at 30°C in terms of both growth and foraging behavior. Our research clearly shows that local conditions and the tolerance range of a species must be considered to develop meaningful information for testing the effects of a changing climate. Our study suggests that rapa whelks may increase their feeding and reach larger sizes during warmer periods. Moreover, our study may provide a foundation for future climate research on aquaculture species.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)177-188
    Number of pages12
    JournalAquaculture Environment Interactions
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Subject classification (UKÄ)

    • Biological Sciences


    • Foraging performance
    • Growth rate
    • Ocean warming
    • Predator-prey interactions
    • Rapana venosa
    • RCP 8.5


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