Understanding mechanisms of thermal sensitivity is key to predict responses of marine organisms to changing temperatures. Sustaining heart function is critical for complex organisms to oxygenate tissues, particularly under temperature stress. Yet, specific mechanisms that define thermal sensitivity of cardiac function remain unclear. Here we investigated whole animal metabolism, cardiac performance and mitochondrial function in response to elevated temperatures for temperate, subtropical and tropical spiny lobster species. While oxygen demands increased with rising temperatures, heart function became limited or declined in all three species of lobsters. The decline in cardiac performance coincided with decreases in mitochondrial efficiency through increasing mitochondrial proton leakage, which predicts impaired compensation of ATP production. Species differences were marked by shifts in mitochondrial function, with the least thermal scope apparent for tropical lobsters. We conclude that acute temperature stress of spiny lobsters, irrespective of their climatic origin, is marked by declining cellular energetic function of the heart, contributing to an increasing loss of whole animal performance. Better understanding of physiological thermal stress cascades will help to improve forecasts of how changing environmental temperatures affect the fitness of these ecologically and commercially important species. © 2020, The Author(s).
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Oellermann, M., Hickey, A.J.R., Fitzgibbon, Q.P. & Smith, G. 2020, "Thermal sensitivity links to cellular cardiac decline in three spiny lobsters", Scientific Reports, vol. 10, no. 1.
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