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The influence of temperature and salinity on energy partitioning in the marine nematode Diplolaimelloides bruciei

Warwick, R.M. (1981) The influence of temperature and salinity on energy partitioning in the marine nematode Diplolaimelloides bruciei. Oecologia, 51 (3). pp. 318-325.

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Measurements of population growth, generation time, fecundity and respiration in laboratory culture have been made, in relation to temperature and salinity, for the nematode Diplolaimelloides bruciei Hopper, a species normally associated with decayed material of the marsh grass Spartina. The intrinsic rate of increase (r) is high: it is related to temperature between 5° and 25°C by a sigmoid function which is steepest between 10° and 15°C, and is maximum at 26‰ salinity. Generation time is related to temperature by a power function and is shortest at 26‰ salinity. The effect of temperature on generation time is consistent with other data for marine nematodes, and the steep slope of r against temperature is largely due to the marked effect of temperature on fecundity. A sex ratio of 2:1 in favour of males is maintained regardless of culture conditions or population density. Respiration increases exponentially with temperature between 5° and 25°C, with a very high Q10 (3.94), but is not affected by salinity. At 30°C respiration is no higher than at 25°C. A high and relatively stable production efficiency (P/A) is maintained between 10 and 30°C with a maximum of 87% at 15°C; there is a stable reproductive effort (Pr/A) of about 10%. At 5°C both these ratios are zero. Data for the harpacticoid copepod Tachidius discipes, derived from the literature, show that this too has a high and stable production efficiency, which may be a characteristic of meiofaunal species in general, but in this species efficiency is relatively high at 5°C. Many features of the energy balance in D. bruciei can be related to an opportunistic mode of life.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Copyright: © 1981 Springer-Verlag.
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