Growth of the damselfly Ischnura heterosticta is better in saline water than freshwater

Elsevier Sci Ltd
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Environmental Pollution, 2006, 141 (3), pp. 409 - 419
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Increasing salinity has the potential to affect freshwater organisms. Yet sub-lethal effects of salinity on macro invertebrates are poorly understood. Growth and development of Ischnura heterosticta (Odonata: Coenagrionidae) was experimentally shown to be faster in 5-20 mS/cm than 0.1-1 mS/cm, while in 35 mS/cm all individuals died. In 30 mS/cm about half died and growth was similar to the 0.1 mS/cm treatment. The salinity-growth relationship cannot be explained indirectly, that is salinity affecting the survival of their prey. Tissue content and concentration of Ca, Mg, Na and K in emerged adults showed no evidence of deficiencies at low salinity. Heart beat rate was similar across treatments, except at 35 mS/cm, where it was slower. Respiration and feeding were similar at 0.1, 10 and 30 mS/cm. While there are similarities in I. heterosticta and other species' salinity response, there are differences and studies on more species are urgently needed.
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