Marine Biology

, Volume 156, Issue 4, pp 527–540 | Cite as

The effects of temperature and salinity on reproductive success of Temora longicornis in the Baltic Sea: a copepod coping with a tough situation

  • Linda Holste
  • Michael A. St. John
  • Myron A. Peck
Original Paper


At specific locations within the Baltic Sea, thermoclines and haloclines can create rapid spatial and temporal changes in temperature (T) and salinity (S) exceeding 10°C and 9 psu with seasonal ranges in temperature exceeding 20°C. These wide ranges in abiotic factors affect the distribution and abundance of Baltic Sea copepods via species-specific, physiological-based impacts on vital rates. In this laboratory study, we characterized the influence of T and S on aspects of reproductive success and naupliar survival of a southwestern Baltic population of Temora longicornis (Copepoda: Calanoida). First, using ad libitum feeding conditions, we measured egg production (EP, no. of eggs female−1 day−1) at 12 different temperatures between 2.5 and 24°C, observing the highest mean EP at 16.9°C (12 eggs female−1 day−1). Next, the effect of S on EP and hatching success (HS, %) was quantified at 12°C for cohorts that had been acclimated to either 8, 14, 20 or 26 psu and tested at each of five salinities (8, 14, 20, 26 and 32 psu). The mean EP was highest for (and maximum EP similar among) 14, 20 and 26 psu cohorts when tested at their acclimation salinity whereas EP was lower at other salinities. For adults reared at 8 psu, a commonly encountered salinity in Baltic surface waters, EP was relatively low at all test salinities—a pattern indicative of osmotic stress. When incubated at 12°C and 15 different salinities between 0 and 34 psu, HS increased asymptotically with increasing S and was maximal (82.6–84.3%) between 24 and 26 psu. However, HS did depend upon the adult acclimation salinity. Finally, the 48-h survival of nauplii hatched and reared at 14 psu at one of six different temperatures (10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20°C) was measured after exposure to a novel salinity (either 7 or 20 psu). Upon exposure to 7 psu, 48-h naupliar mortality increased with increasing temperature, ranging from 26.7% at 10°C to 63.2% at 20°C. In contrast, after exposure to 20 psu, mortality was relatively low at all temperatures (1.7% at 10°C and ≤26.7% for all other temperatures). An intra-specific comparison of EP for three different T. longicornis populations revealed markedly different temperature optima and clearly demonstrated the negative impact of brackish (Baltic) salinities. Our results provide estimates of reproductive success and early survival of T. longicornis to the wide ranges of temperatures and salinities that will aid ongoing biophysical modeling examining climate impacts on this species within the Baltic Sea.


Calanoid Copepod Copepodite Stage Prosome Length Bornholm Basin Test Salinity 



We are grateful for the help of Philipp Kanstinger, Bianca Ewest, Meike Martin and Gudrun Bening with laboratory rearing and data collection and would like to thank Christian Möllmann and Janna Peters for helpful discussions and comments on this work. This research was supported by the German Science Foundation (DFG) AQUASHIFT program cluster project Resolving Trophodynamic Consequences of Climate Change (RECONN, # JO556/1-2).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda Holste
    • 1
  • Michael A. St. John
    • 1
  • Myron A. Peck
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Hydrobiology and Fisheries ScienceUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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