Predicted effects of increasing salinity on the crustacean zooplankton community of Pyramid Lake, Nevada
- 1) Colorado Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, Colorado State University, 80523, Ft. Collins, CO, U.S.A.
- 2) Lockheed Ocean Science Laboratories, 6350 Yarrow Drive, Suite A, 92008, Carlsbad, CA, U.S.A.
Since 1933 the salinity of Pyramid Lake, Nevada, U.S.A., has increased 32% to nearly 5.5‰. We tested the hypothesis that further increases of 1.5 to 2 times (1.5× to 2×) its present salinity would significantly reduce species richness and alter population structures of the existing crustacean zooplankton community. Three strategies were applied: in addition to monitoring zooplankton in semicontrolled indoor microcosms at 1×, 1.5× and 2× and conducting range-finding, acute, and chronic salinity bioassays, the present zooplankton community of Walker Lake (2×) was compared with that existing in Pyramid Lake (1×). Ceriodaphnia quadrangula and Diaphanosoma leuchtenbergianum, both collected from Pyramid Lake, were lacking in Walker Lake. Populations of Cyclops vernalis were significantly lower and those of Diaptomus sicilis and Moina hutchinsoni were significantly higher in Walker Lake than in Pyramid Lake. Densities of Ceriodaphnia and Cyclops were low in microcosms at salinities > 1×. Diaphanosoma could not be maintained in microcosms, regardless of salinity. Numbers of Diaptomus and Moina in microcosms were proportional to salinity level. Short-term LC50 salinities (‰) were as follows: Diaphanosoma, 6.5; Ceriodaphnia, 7.1; Diaptomus, 13.3; Cyclops, 14.8; and Moina, 17.8. Multiple-generation, chronic bioassays were run only on Cyclops and Diaptomus. Three generations of Cyclops were produced at salinities of 4.0 to 8.5‰, but not at 9.8‰ or higher. Diaptomus was unable to complete three generations at salinities ?9.6‰. We speculate that high salinity in Walker Lake may indirectly benefit Diaptomus by negatively affecting predatory Cyclops, and benefit Moina by causing extinction of competing salinity-intolerant Diaphanosoma and Ceriodaphnia. Except for the response of Diaptomus, results from bioassays were in general agreement with results from microcosms and with field data. Untested predator-prey interactions could be responsible for the apparent discrepancy.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 4 - vertebres: endocrinologie