Paper on repeated freezing and thawing in JEB


In a recent paper published in Journal of Experimental Biology Karina Fisker measured the metabolic rate of encytreids exposed to repeated freeze thaw events and compared these to animals exposed to continuous thawed or frozen state. Although similar questions have been addressed in other organisms, this is a unique study in the sence that it investigates these responses in populations that are likely to meat very different winter conditions, including differences in freeze thaw events.

The main finding of this study was that freezing causes metabolic depression, but that freeze thaw events are not in associated with considerable energetic costs. Moreover we found that the tolerance to continuous freezing was markedly higher in arctic populations, while the tolerance to freeze thaw events was more similar between temperate and arctic populations of encytreids 

Fisker, K.V., Holmstrup, M., Malte, H. and Overgaard, J. (2014)

Effect of repeated freeze-thaw cycles on geographically different populations of the freeze tolerant worm Enchytraeus albidus (Oligochaeta).

The Journal of Experimental Biology 217:3843-3852