Presentation Title

The Impact of Salinity on Upper Lethal Temperature of Acartia tonsa

Presenter's Name(s)

Chelsea DarwinFollow

Project Collaborators

Lauren Ashlock (Graduate Student Mentor), Melissa Pespeni (Faculty Mentor)

Abstract

With climate change, it is expected that we will see more frequent and extreme variations in weather patterns. Extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, can result in large influxes of fresh water into estuarine environments, drastically lowering salinity. This, coupled with increasing global temperatures, poses a serious challenge to the survival of estuarine and coastal organisms. Acartia tonsa is one of the most prolific species of copepod in the northeast Atlantic and is widely distributed throughout the globe. A. tonsa is a generalist species, capable of thriving in a variety of environments, making them ideal for assessing a response to environmental variation. In order to further our understanding of how estuarine copepods may respond to extreme weather events, we examined the relationship between environmental salinity and acute temperature response in A. tonsa. Copepods from two different populations were subjected to an upper lethal temperature assay while at one of three different salinities (30ppt, 20ppt, and 15ppt). A one-way ANOVA and Tukeys HSD show significant differences in survivorship between 30ppt and 15ppt (p-adj=.0005) and 20ppt and 15ppt (p-adj=.004). Differences in survivorship between individuals at different salinities may suggest a relationship between the mechanisms used by the copepod to tolerate these environmental stressors. This could also indicate a higher energetic demand overall, resulting in metabolic stress.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Melissa Pespeni

Graduate Student Mentors

Lauren Ashlock

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Biological Science

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

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The Impact of Salinity on Upper Lethal Temperature of Acartia tonsa

With climate change, it is expected that we will see more frequent and extreme variations in weather patterns. Extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, can result in large influxes of fresh water into estuarine environments, drastically lowering salinity. This, coupled with increasing global temperatures, poses a serious challenge to the survival of estuarine and coastal organisms. Acartia tonsa is one of the most prolific species of copepod in the northeast Atlantic and is widely distributed throughout the globe. A. tonsa is a generalist species, capable of thriving in a variety of environments, making them ideal for assessing a response to environmental variation. In order to further our understanding of how estuarine copepods may respond to extreme weather events, we examined the relationship between environmental salinity and acute temperature response in A. tonsa. Copepods from two different populations were subjected to an upper lethal temperature assay while at one of three different salinities (30ppt, 20ppt, and 15ppt). A one-way ANOVA and Tukeys HSD show significant differences in survivorship between 30ppt and 15ppt (p-adj=.0005) and 20ppt and 15ppt (p-adj=.004). Differences in survivorship between individuals at different salinities may suggest a relationship between the mechanisms used by the copepod to tolerate these environmental stressors. This could also indicate a higher energetic demand overall, resulting in metabolic stress.