Salinity of incubation media influences embryonic development of a freshwater turtle

Bower, Deborah S., Hodges, Kate M., and Georges, Arthur (2013) Salinity of incubation media influences embryonic development of a freshwater turtle. Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical Systemic and Environmental Physiology, 183 (2). pp. 235-241.

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Variations in water potential have marked effects on aspects of embryological development in reptiles. Therefore variation in the salinity of the incubation environment is likely to have significant consequences on the early life stage. The combination of an extended incubation period, coupled with the real threat of soil salinisation within their range makes Chelodina expansa an ideal model to assess the influence of salinity on turtle embryology. We quantified the influence of salt on the development of C. expansa hatchlings in four substrate treatments varying in salinity. Embryos incubated in higher salinities had 39 % less survival than those incubated in substrates with freshwater. Hatchlings that emerged from eggs in saline treatments were smaller with higher concentrations of plasma sodium, chloride, urea, and potassium. The physiological effects of salinity mirror those of turtles incubated in drier media with low water potential. Salinisation of river banks has the potential to reduce hatching success and fitness of nesting reptiles.

Item ID: 51113
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-136X
Keywords: salt, egg, developmental plasticity, hydric, moisture
Funders: Linnean Society of New South Wales (LS-NSW), Australian Research Council (ARC), South Australian Museum, Department of Environment and Heritage, Department of Sustainable Environment, Foundation for Australia’s Most Rare Species, Nature Foundation, Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board
Projects and Grants: ARC Linkage grant 0560985
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2017 07:32
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060204 Freshwater Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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