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Response of the Tadpole Shrimp Triops Longica Udatus To Hypoxia

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Tadpole shrimp, Triops loregicaudatus live at the bottom of small ephemeral pools where the supply of oxygen is extremely variable. When oxygen tensions in the lower water layers are low, shrimp make numerous trips to the surface in order to obtain oxygen to satisfy metabolic demand. These trips to the surface are disruptive to the normal growth and development of the shrimp because they are energetically costly and they require time away from the benthic feeding zone. This study investigated the negative impact of time spent at the surface on growth and the extent to which hemolymph hemoglobin concentration, [Hb], increase the capacity of animals to remain submerged in hypoxic waters. Hemolymph [Hb] were found to be inversely related to the oxygen tension in which animals were raised and positively correlated with the amount of time spent in the benthic feeding zone during hypoxia. Individuals that spent more time in the benthic feeding zone had higher growth rates than those which spent more time at the surface during hypoxia. We conclude that extracellular [Hb] is an important adaptation in T. longicaudatus by facilitating oxygen uptake during hypoxia, allowing animals to spend more time in benthic habitats where they feed thereby increasing growth and possibly reproductive success.

Affiliations: 1: University of Colorado, Department Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0334, U.S.A


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