The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Thermal tolerance ranges and climate variability: A comparison between bivalves from differing climates

Compton, Tanya J., Rijkenberg, Micha J.A., Drent, Jan and Piersma, Theunis (2007) Thermal tolerance ranges and climate variability: A comparison between bivalves from differing climates Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 352, (1), pp. 200-211. (doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2007.07.010).

Record type: Article


The climate variability hypothesis proposes that in variable temperate climates poikilothermic animals have wide thermal tolerance windows, whereas in constant tropical climates they have small thermal tolerance windows. In this study we quantified and compared the upper and lower lethal thermal tolerance limits of numerous bivalve species from a tropical (Roebuck Bay, north western Australia) and a temperate (Wadden Sea, north western Europe) tidal flat. Species from tropical Roebuck Bay had higher upper and lower lethal thermal limits than species from the temperate Wadden Sea, and Wadden Sea species showed an ability to survive freezing temperatures. The increased freezing resistance of the Wadden Sea species resulted in thermal tolerance windows that were on average 7 °C greater than the Roebuck Bay species. Furthermore, at a local-scale, the upper lethal thermal limits of the Wadden Sea species were positively related to submersion time and thus to encountered temperature variation, but this was not the case for the Roebuck Bay species. A review of previous studies, at a global scale, showed that upper lethal thermal limits of tropical species are closer to maximum habitat temperatures than the upper lethal thermal limits of temperate species, suggesting that temperate species are better adapted to temperature variation. In this study, we show for the first time, at both local and global scales, that the lethal thermal limits of bivalves support the climate variability effect in the marine environment.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 2007
Keywords: Bivalves, Intertidal mud flat, Inundation time, Physiological tolerances, Thermal niche width


Local EPrints ID: 48869
ISSN: 0022-0981
PURE UUID: a25eb658-d092-4dbb-8be8-4c416c1e8239

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Oct 2007
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:57

Export record



Author: Tanya J. Compton
Author: Micha J.A. Rijkenberg
Author: Jan Drent
Author: Theunis Piersma

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.