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SFS Annual Meeting

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A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS: CHARACTERIZNG THE EFFECTS OF THERMAL STRESS ON METABOLITES IN DAMSELFLIES

Climate change is expected to severely impact freshwater ecosystems through changes to both water temperature and water level. Freshwater invertebrates are sensitive to these and other environmental variables and evidence of these environmental changes may be detectable using the organisms’ metabolome. Here, we explore the potential to use metabolite levels of damselflies (Odonata: Coenagrionidae) to indicate thermal stress in lentic freshwater ecosystems using experiments involving temporal or thermal elements. Early instar damselfly larvae were obtained from a pond in Southeastern Wisconsin and placed in individual microcosms. For temporal characterization, larvae were raised and sacrificed in stages over several weeks. In a second experiment, damselfly larvae were collected and housed similarly, however, heating pads were placed underneath randomly selected microcosms producing a temperature increase of 5±1ºC. Metabolite levels will be assessed via extraction and LC-MS quantitation. We anticipate evidence of increased energy expenditure in adults against larvae. Additionally, thermal stress is expected to increase alternative energy metabolism resulting in observable responses in the target metabolites. Results from these studies could be used to develop approaches for assessing environmental stress in freshwater ecosystems before lethality is observed, which can improve conservation efforts.

Jason Kowalski (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Marian University, jmkowalski06@marianuniversity.edu;


Jessica Orlofske (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Wisconsin-Parkside, orlofske@uwp.edu;


Nicholas Bielski (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Wisconsin - Parkside, bielskin.v@gmail.com;