Thermal Limits Determination For Zooplankton Using A Heat Block

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Thermal limits and breadth have been widely used to predict species distribution. As the global temperature continues to rise, understanding how thermal limit changes with acclimation and how it varies between life stages and populations are vital for determining the vulnerability of species to future warming. Most marine organisms have complex life cycles that include early planktonic stages. While quantifying the thermal limit of these small early developmental stages (tens to hundreds of microns) helps identify developmental bottlenecks, this process can be challenging due to the small size of target organisms, large bench space requirement, and high initial fabrication cost. Here, a setup that is geared toward small volumes (mL to tens of mL) is presented. This setup combines commercially available components to generate a stable and linear thermal gradient. Production specifications of the setup, as well as procedures to introduce and enumerate live versus dead individuals and compute lethal temperature, are also presented.


Thermal Limits, Zooplankton, Heat Block, Global Temperatures, Acclimation, Ontogeny, Vulnerability, Species, Warming, Marine Organisms, Critical Temperatures, Planktonic Organisms, Scintillation Vials, Strip Heater, Rheostat, Aluminum Block, Temperature Controller Probes, Acrylic Sheets, Thermal Paste, Water Bath

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