Research Topic

Physiological Impacts of Global Warming in Aquatic Organisms

About this Research Topic

During the last decades, the planet has entered into a period of rapid and potentially irreversible global warming due to the positive radiative imbalances triggered by greenhouse gas emissions from anthropogenic activities. Aquatic environments, especially oceans, have absorbed up to 93% of the extra energy that have been accumulated in the Earth in recent decades, with a predicted average temperature rise of 2 to 4.8 °C by 2100. For a correct protection and conservation of natural ecosystems, as well as to design future awareness and mitigation strategies, unveiling the potential impact of global warming and its correct and accurate risk assessment is sought.

Temperature has pleiotropic effects on aquatic organisms, being one of the most critical environmental factors affecting their physiology, growth, and reproductive performances, among others. Increments in water temperature may also affect stress condition and susceptibility to pathogens in aquatic organisms, which may ultimately lead to changes in their survival, distribution and abundance. Thus, it is urgent to decipher how global warming will affect aquatic organisms’ physiology in a species- and geography-specific manner.

Species distribution and abundance is closely linked to its physiology and capacity to adapt to environmental constraints. Although the organisms’ physiology is mostly determined in ectotherm species by environmental temperature, the impact of water warming on endotherm species should be not excluded. Furthermore, although physiological responses and adaptations are genetically and epigenetically determined, increasingly knowledge on how global warming might affect contemporary organisms as well as imprint their progenies is clearly deserved to envisage the future of aquatic environments under a global warming scenario.

The objective of this Research Topic is to bring together a series of articles evaluating and describing the impact of global warming at any level of organism’s organization (i.e., ecosystem, species, cellular and/or molecular) and in any type of aquatic environment found in Earth (from freshwater to marine habitats, and from surface to deep see environments), although these studies have to be based on a physiological perspective.

Multidisciplinary studies based on physiological responses using cellular and molecular approaches are needed to better predict and elucidate how aquatic organisms respond, cope and adapt to global warming. This Research Topic focuses on both, lab and field studies, evaluating how short- and long-term rises in water temperature influence aquatic organisms, including vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as plants.

This Research Topic welcomes original research articles, reviews, and mini-reviews on how global warming will impact aquatic organisms. Potential subtopics include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

- Species distribution, abundance and behavioral changes by global warming.
- Physiological changes and responses to global warming.
- Global warming and reproductive physiology in aquatic species.
-Physiological and metabolic changes and responses of aquatic species to global warming.
- Cellular alterations to global warming.
- Molecular signaling mechanisms in aquatic organisms altered by global warming.
- Adaptations and underpinning mechanisms to global warming.
- ‘Omics’ of aquatic organisms altered by global warming.


Keywords: Thermal sensitivity and stress, Aquaculture, Fisheries, Climate Change, Functional physiology, Adaptation, Resilience


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

During the last decades, the planet has entered into a period of rapid and potentially irreversible global warming due to the positive radiative imbalances triggered by greenhouse gas emissions from anthropogenic activities. Aquatic environments, especially oceans, have absorbed up to 93% of the extra energy that have been accumulated in the Earth in recent decades, with a predicted average temperature rise of 2 to 4.8 °C by 2100. For a correct protection and conservation of natural ecosystems, as well as to design future awareness and mitigation strategies, unveiling the potential impact of global warming and its correct and accurate risk assessment is sought.

Temperature has pleiotropic effects on aquatic organisms, being one of the most critical environmental factors affecting their physiology, growth, and reproductive performances, among others. Increments in water temperature may also affect stress condition and susceptibility to pathogens in aquatic organisms, which may ultimately lead to changes in their survival, distribution and abundance. Thus, it is urgent to decipher how global warming will affect aquatic organisms’ physiology in a species- and geography-specific manner.

Species distribution and abundance is closely linked to its physiology and capacity to adapt to environmental constraints. Although the organisms’ physiology is mostly determined in ectotherm species by environmental temperature, the impact of water warming on endotherm species should be not excluded. Furthermore, although physiological responses and adaptations are genetically and epigenetically determined, increasingly knowledge on how global warming might affect contemporary organisms as well as imprint their progenies is clearly deserved to envisage the future of aquatic environments under a global warming scenario.

The objective of this Research Topic is to bring together a series of articles evaluating and describing the impact of global warming at any level of organism’s organization (i.e., ecosystem, species, cellular and/or molecular) and in any type of aquatic environment found in Earth (from freshwater to marine habitats, and from surface to deep see environments), although these studies have to be based on a physiological perspective.

Multidisciplinary studies based on physiological responses using cellular and molecular approaches are needed to better predict and elucidate how aquatic organisms respond, cope and adapt to global warming. This Research Topic focuses on both, lab and field studies, evaluating how short- and long-term rises in water temperature influence aquatic organisms, including vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as plants.

This Research Topic welcomes original research articles, reviews, and mini-reviews on how global warming will impact aquatic organisms. Potential subtopics include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

- Species distribution, abundance and behavioral changes by global warming.
- Physiological changes and responses to global warming.
- Global warming and reproductive physiology in aquatic species.
-Physiological and metabolic changes and responses of aquatic species to global warming.
- Cellular alterations to global warming.
- Molecular signaling mechanisms in aquatic organisms altered by global warming.
- Adaptations and underpinning mechanisms to global warming.
- ‘Omics’ of aquatic organisms altered by global warming.


Keywords: Thermal sensitivity and stress, Aquaculture, Fisheries, Climate Change, Functional physiology, Adaptation, Resilience


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 March 2021 Abstract
01 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 March 2021 Abstract
01 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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