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The Effect Of Temperature On The Hatching Success Of Brine Shrimps

2544 words - 10 pages

TITLEThe effect of temperature on the hatching success of brine shrimpsOBJECTIVESTo investigate the effect of temperature on the hatching success of brine shrimpsINTRODUCTIONBrine shrimp is a small saltwater crustaceans which belongs to the genus Artemia in the family Artemiidae. There are about 13 species of Brine shrimp, namely Artemia franciscana, Artemia gracilis, Artemia salina and so on. They are largely found worldwide in inland saltwater lakes, but ironically not in oceans. In fact, they play a very important role in the Great Salt Lake ecosystem due to the large ecological niches they occupy. Without them, all of the migratory birds, for instance, Eared Grebe and Wilson's Phalarope that stop at the Great Salt Lake during the migratory path would be unable to get the nutrients required for their long and strenuous trip. This is because brine shrimps are high in lipids and unsaturated fatty acids.Despite being food for the birds, brine shrimps also help to clean up the polluted lake by ridding the water contaminated with phosphorus, nitrogen-rich compounds from fertilizers as well as other household waste products. Wild brine shrimps normally consume a species of microscopic green algae called Dunaliella by using their appendages to funnel nutrients towards their mouth. These algae are the main food source for newly hatched brine shrimps because they are small, unicellular and have a soft exterior which can be easily digested. However when Dunaliella becomes scarce, the brine shrimp will consume the larger golden brown algae even though it is difficult to digest the rigid silica cell wall of that algae. Juvenile brine shrimp cannot ingest both algae and is therefore finding other sources of food. Cultured brine shrimp can also be fed with particular foods such as yeast, wheat flour or egg yolk.Brine shrimps have a simple life cycle that is well adapted to the environment they are living. The baby brine shrimps hatch in the spring from the cysts, hard-shelled eggs like spheres. The eggs are metabolically inactive and can remain dormant for two years under dry oxygen-free conditions, and even at temperature below 0°C. These cysts will normally float to the surface of water and form red brown streaks that cover an enormous area of the lake during the fall and winter. When the lake has become warm during spring, they will be hatched into larvae within a few hours. Therefore, cysts are essential to increase the population number of brine shrimp after harsh winter.Figure 2Life cycle of brine shrimpAfter hatching from the cysts, the shrimp grow very fast and they possess only one eye during juveniles' stage. When they grow to become adults, they develop two eyes and are about 0.8mm in length. Female brine shrimps are able to fertilize their own eggs without the help from male brine shrimp. This is why majority of brine shrimp are females. However, towards the end of fall, sexual reproduction between male and female is favored in order to...

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