Effect of Temperature Rising on the Stygobitic Crustacean Species Diacyclops belgicus: Does Global Warming Affect Groundwater Populations?

Tiziana Di Lorenzo, Diana Galassi
2017 Water  
The average global temperature is predicted to increase by 3 • C by the end of this century due to human-induced climate change. The overall metabolism of the aquatic biota will be directly affected by rising temperatures and associated changes. Since thermal stability is a characteristic of groundwater ecosystems, global warming is expected to have a profound effect on the groundwater fauna. The prediction that stygobitic (obligate groundwater dweller) species are vulnerable to climate change
more » ... ncludes assumptions about metabolic effects that can only be tested by comparisons across a thermal gradient. To this end, we investigated the effects of two different thermal regimes on the metabolism of the stygobitic copepod species Diacyclops belgicus (Kiefer, 1936). We measured the individual-based oxygen consumption of this species as a proxy of possible metabolic reactions to temperature rising from 14 to 17 • C. We used a sealed glass microplate equipped with planar oxygen sensor spots with optical isolation glued onto the bottom of 80-µL wells integrated with a 24-channel fluorescence-based respirometry system. The tests have provided controversial results according to which the D. belgicus populations should be prudently considered at risk under a global warming scenario.
doi:10.3390/w9120951 fatcat:2gfkyfcsjfgfpk6xxvlzrhpvpm