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Data from: Calcium interacts with temperature to influence Daphnia movement rates

Cite this dataset

Betini, Gustavo et al. (2016). Data from: Calcium interacts with temperature to influence Daphnia movement rates [Dataset]. Dryad.


Predicting the ecological responses to climate change is particularly challenging, because organisms might be affected simultaneously by the synergistic effects of multiple environmental stressors. Global warming is often accompanied by declining calcium concentration in many freshwater ecosystems. Although there is growing evidence that these changes in water chemistry and thermal conditions can influence ecosystem dynamics, little information is currently available about how these synergistic environmental stressors could influence the behaviour of aquatic organisms. Here, we tested whether the combined effects of calcium and temperature affect movement parameters (average speed, mean turning frequency and mean-squared displacement) of the planktonic Daphnia magna, using a full factorial design and exposing Daphnia individuals to a range of realistic levels of temperature and calcium concentration. We found that movement increased with both temperature and calcium concentration, but temperature effects became considerably weaker when individuals were exposed to calcium levels close to survival limits documented for several Daphnia species, signalling a strong interaction effect. These results support the notion that changes in water chemistry might have as strong an effect as projected changes in temperature on movement rates of Daphnia, suggesting that even sublethal levels of calcium decline could have a considerable impact on the dynamics of freshwater ecosystems.

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