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Effects of salinity on the life history and fitness of Daphnia magna: variability within and between populations


Teschner,  Martina
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Teschner, M. (1995). Effects of salinity on the life history and fitness of Daphnia magna: variability within and between populations. Cladocera as Model Organisms in Biology, 33-41.

The life history traits of Daphnia magna were studied in laboratory experiments under freshwater and brackish (5 parts per thousand salinity) conditions. The variability of responses within and between populations was examined by comparing 11 clones from a brackish lake and 10 clones from a freshwater pond. Experimental clones were hatched from ephippia collected from the sediment and thus represent random samples of the clone banks of each population. Most clones with a high salinity tolerance were from the population of the brackish habitat, but some were also found in the freshwater population. Thus, freshwater populations appear to have the potential to invade brackish habitats. A proportion of clones from the brackish population had very low fitness (measured as e(tau)) under freshwater conditions. This unexpected result means that freshwater adaptation can be lost by the freshwater cladoceran Daphnia magna. The effects of unfavourable conditions on growth and reproduction varied among clones and were not correlated. This clonal variation in growth and reproduction indicates that the environmental sensitivities of these traits are independent. The pattern of fitness reaction norms showed no trade-off between fitness under brackish and under freshwater conditions for either population. Thus, euryhaline generalists should be favoured in habitats with salinity fluctuations between freshwater and brackish conditions