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Biology and conservation of the unique and diverse halophilic macroinvertebrates of Australian salt lakes

Lawrie, A.D., Chaplin, J. and Pinder, A. (2021) Biology and conservation of the unique and diverse halophilic macroinvertebrates of Australian salt lakes. Marine and Freshwater Research . Online Early.

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Abstract

This study synthesises information on the biology of the unique and diverse halophilic macroinvertebrates of Australian salt lakes, focusing on gastropods and crustaceans. This information is needed to evaluate and manage the threats posed to these invertebrates by increased periods of drought and secondary salinisation. Most of these species are endemic to Australian salt lakes, and some have adapted to extreme conditions (e.g. salinities >100 g L–1 and pH <5). This study identifies key general findings regarding the taxonomy, ecology and life histories of these invertebrates, such as that many ‘new’ species have been uncovered in the past 20 years, with more likely to come. The study also identifies critical knowledge gaps, such as the need to elucidate the abiotic and biological drivers of the field distributions of species, including why some species are widespread and common whereas other congeneric species are rare or have narrow distributions. Those species that are either restricted to low salinity environments or survive dry periods as aestivating adults (as opposed to desiccation-resistant eggs) are probably the most vulnerable to increasing salinisation and drought. Future work should prioritise the development of a sound taxonomy for all groups, because this is needed to underpin all other biological research.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: © 2021 CSIRO
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/61513
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