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Time capsules in natural sediment archives-Tracking phytoplankton population genetic diversity and adaptation over multidecadal timescales in the face of environmental change

Journal article
Authors Marianne Ellegaard
Anna Godhe
Sofia Ribeiro
Published in Evolutionary Applications
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 11–16
ISSN 1752-4563
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of marine sciences
Pages 11–16
Language en
Keywords Diatom, Dinoflagellate, Environmental change, Marine, Population genetics, Resting stage, Sediment record
Subject categories Marine ecology


© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Undisturbed records of resting stages produced in the past and stored in coastal sediments are very valuable to science, because they may provide unique insights into past evolutionary and ecological trajectories. Within marine phytoplankton, multidecadal time series of monoclonal strains germinated from resting stages have been established for diatoms (Skeletonema marinoi) and dinoflagellates (Pentapharsodinium dalei), spanning ca. a century. Phenotypic and genotypic analyses of these time series have revealed effects of past environmental changes on population genetic structure. Future perspectives include direct comparisons of phenotypes and genotypic data of populations, for example, by genomewide assays that can correlate phenotypic trends with genotypes and allele frequencies in temporally separated strains. Besides their usefulness as historical records, "seed" banks of phytoplankton resting stages also have the potential to provide an inoculum that influences present populations through "dispersal from the past" (the storage effect) and are important for adaptation to future environments through their standing genetic diversity.

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