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Are juveniles as tolerant to salinity stress as adults?: A case study of Northern European, Ponto-Caspian and North American species

Citation

Briski, Elizabeta; Paiva, Filipa; Pauli, Nora (2020), Are juveniles as tolerant to salinity stress as adults?: A case study of Northern European, Ponto-Caspian and North American species, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3n5tb2rf5

Abstract

Aim: Global biodiversity and ecosystems are highly impacted by anthropogenic activities, such as climate change and introduction of non-indigenous species. As numerous species from the Ponto-Caspian region have established in the North and Baltic Seas, as well as in the Laurentian Great Lakes, there have been large number of studies examining environmental tolerance of these species to determine their future potential to spread. However, many of those studies were conducted only on adult stages, while neglecting the possibility that early life history stages might not be equally resilient. 

Location: Northern European, Ponto‐Caspian and North American regions.

Methods: To determine if juveniles would demonstrate the same environmental tolerance as their parents, we examined the salinity tolerance of adults and juveniles of one Northern European (Gammarus salinus), one Ponto-Caspian (Pontogammarus maeoticus) and one North American species (Gammarus tigrinus). Additionally, we compared our study to that of Paiva et al. (2018), who tested the salinity tolerance of the same species using only adults. 

Results: Our study determined that both adults and juveniles of all three species tolerated wide ranges of salinity, with juveniles of G. salinus tolerating only slightly narrower salinity range than their parents, while those of P. maeoticus and G. tigrinus much narrower range. Additionally, we determined better survival and higher growth rates of juveniles of G. salinus in higher salinities, and better survival of P. maeoticus in lower salinities. 

Main conclusions: Based on juvenile salinity tolerance, our study further supported findings of Paiva et al. (2018), where Northern European species may be adapted to marine, while Ponto-Caspian to lower saline and freshwater environments. The North American species is probably adapted to intermediate salinities. As juveniles do not tolerate the same salinity stress as adults, we emphasize the importance of testing all life-history stages when predicting species resilience to environmental stressors.