Journal of Phycology
Laurencia is a globally distributed genus with about 80 species (order Ceramiales) that inhabit tropical, subtropical, and warm-temperate regions of both sides of the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific oceans. This study investigated how two species of Laurencia distributed in different thermal environments (California and Hawaii) varied in their photosynthetic responses to temperature. The thermal ecophysiology of both species was investigated at different temporal scales (short-term responses and seasonal acclimatization) using oxygen evolution and pulse-amplitude-modulated (PAM) fluorometry. Our results indicated that seasonal acclimatization of both species of Laurencia influenced the short-term photosynthetic response at both locations. Greater seasonal differences in the photosynthetic performance were observed for L. pacifica Kylin, which reflects the ability of this species to acclimatize to local environmental conditions characterized by short-term fluctuations and a broader annual temperature range. Photosynthetic performance of L. nidifica J. Agardh was consistent with the less variable local environment (no short-term fluctuations and a narrower temperature range). These results suggest that acclimatization to temperature variability in the environment can influence the degree of flexibility of physiological responses of species in this genus.