Indexed on: 01 May '99Published on: 01 May '99Published in: Marine Biology
The euryhaline mysid Neomysis integer (Peracarida: Mysidacea) is a common member of the hyperbenthos of the upper reaches of European estuaries. In the East Looe River Estuary (Cornwall, England), this species experiences extensive tidal and seasonal changes in temperature (3 to 15 °C) and salinity (1 to 34‰). In this investigation, the effects of temperature (5, 10 and 15 °C) and salinity (1, 10, 20 and 30‰) on the oxygen consumption of male and female N. integer are reported, and are related to field measurements to identify the adaptive responses of the respiratory physiology to such a variable environment. The general responses were similar for each sex; however, at any given temperature/salinity combination, male N. integer consumed more oxygen than females. The general trends were increased oxygen consumption with increasing temperature (Q10 values ranged from ∼1.7 to 2.5) and decreased oxygen consumption with increasing salinity. Temperature and salinity interacted at high water antagonistically to minimise changes in mysid oxygen-consumption. When related to tidal fluctuations in temperature and salinity experienced by N. integer inhabiting the East Looe River Estuary, the results reveal how the respiratory physiology of this species is adapted to its variable environment.