Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Aestivation provides flexible mechanisms for survival of stream drying in a larval trichopteran (Leptoceridae)

S. Wickson A C , E. T. Chester B and B. J. Robson B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, PO Box 423, Warrnambool, Vic. 3280, Australia.

B School of Environmental Sciences, Murdoch University, 90 South Street, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: sjwi@deakin.edu.au

Marine and Freshwater Research 63(9) 821-826 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF12095
Submitted: 8 April 2012  Accepted: 12 August 2012   Published: 8 October 2012

Abstract

Some freshwater species aestivate to resist drying; however, little is known about factors affecting post-aestivation survival. Climate change prolongs drying and may make short bursts of flow more frequent in southern Australian streams, thereby affecting aestivation success. The tolerance of larval Lectrides varians (Mosley) to drying was tested by inducing aestivation in dry or moist sediment and then re-immersing larvae and measuring survival and activity. Survival did not differ between individuals that were continually immersed (78%) or aestivating on moist sediment (70.5%) after 16 weeks. Survival was significantly lower on dry sediment (29.3%). Furthermore, some larvae showed delayed responses to re-immersion; 65% of individuals showed activity within 4.5 h, whereas over 30% of larvae did not become active until 72 h after re-immersion. L. varians can survive extended periods (112 days) without surface water, showing a bimodal response to re-immersion that increases the likelihood of population persistence by enabling some larvae to remain aestivating during short-lived bursts of stream flow. L. varians populations will therefore be more robust to prolonged stream drying and short-lived flow events than are some other insect taxa, although as the duration of aestivation increases larval survivorship decreases, suggesting that there are limits to the flexibility of aestivation traits.

Additional keywords : aestivation, drought, intermittent streams, life history traits, Mediterranean streams, Trichoptera.


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