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SFS Annual Meeting

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EFFECT OF SALINITY ON THE HATCHING OF BRANCHINECTA LINDAHLI PACKARD, 1883.

Utah is located in an arid desert environment, with many small isolated ephemeral or seasonal wetlands. As part of a multi-year study of a series of temporary rock pools in Three Peaks, UT, we studied the lifecycle and biology of Branchinecta lindahli Packard, 1883. These pools fill with rain or snow and then slowly evaporate until the next storm. Fairy shrimp only hatch when there is sufficient water. In this study, we looked at salinity as a hatching trigger. The effect of salinity on hatching rates of Branchinecta lindahli was examined using five salt (NaCl) concentrations ranging from 0 g/L to 4 g/L (N = 18). A significant negative relationship (p=7.03x10-3, R2 = 0.522) was found between salt concentration and the number of fairy shrimp hatched. This supports other studies looking at hatching cues as a survival mechanism of fairy shrimp in ephemeral habitats. The avoidance of abortive hatching suggests that fairy shrimp do use a bet-hedging strategy that allows them to survive and persist in temporary wetlands. Salinity is most likely a hatching trigger used in that strategy.

Nayla Rhein (Primary Presenter/Author), Southern Utah University, nayla.rhein@gmail.com;


Fredric Govedich (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Southern Utah University, govedich@suu.edu;


Bonnie Bain (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Dixie State University, bain@dixie.edu;