Meeting Abstract

P2.26  Thursday, Jan. 5  Predicting patterns of thermal stress in Mytilus californianus KISH, N.*; HELMUTH, B.; DENNY, M.W.; University of South Carolina, Columbia; University of South Carolina, Columbia; Stanford University kishn@email.sc.edu

In the marine intertidal zone, a variety of factors, such as air temperature, water temperature, wind speed, and solar radiation, drive the body temperatures and thus levels of physiological stress of the organisms that live there. However, temporal and spatial patterns in stress, mortality, and shifts in species distributions are frequently estimated using single environmental variables, such as air temperature, as proxies. Using seven years of temperature data collected by biomimetic sensors designed to mimic the thermal characteristics of the intertidal mussel M. californianus at Hopkins station, CA, and weather station data collected adjacent to this site, we analyzed the strength of the relationship between aerial (low tide) body temperature and air and water temperature at daily and monthly intervals. A very weak relationship (R2 0.00-0.60) was found between all metrics of body and air temperature, with the strongest correlations observed between measurements of minimum body temperature and minimum air temperature. These results strongly suggest that studies relating measurements conducted at “habitat” level, such as air or water temperature, are not always good indicators of physiological stress, even in relative terms.