A common temperature dependence of nutritional demands in ectotherms

Cecilia Laspoumaderes, Cedric L. Meunier, Amaru Magnin, Johanna Berlinghof, James J. Elser, Esteban Balseiro, Gabriela Torres, Beatriz Modenutti, Nelly Tremblay, Maarten Boersma

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In light of ongoing climate change, it is increasingly important to know how nutritional requirements of ectotherms are affected by changing temperatures. Here, we analyse the wide thermal response of phosphorus (P) requirements via elemental gross growth efficiencies of Carbon (C) and P, and the Threshold Elemental Ratios in different aquatic invertebrate ectotherms: the freshwater model species Daphnia magna, the marine copepod Acartia tonsa, the marine heterotrophic dinoflagellate Oxyrrhis marina, and larvae of two populations of the marine crab Carcinus maenas. We show that they all share a non-linear cubic thermal response of nutrient requirements. Phosphorus requirements decrease from low to intermediate temperatures, increase at higher temperatures and decrease again when temperature is excessive. This common thermal response of nutrient requirements is of great importance if we aim to understand or even predict how ectotherm communities will react to global warming and nutrient-driven eutrophication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2189-2202
Number of pages14
JournalEcology Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • carbon
  • ecological stoichiometry
  • gross growth efficiency
  • growth
  • metabolism
  • nutrients
  • phosphorus
  • respiration
  • thermal gradient
  • threshold elemental ratio


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