Document: CEL-3-28-36

The tolerance of a marine oligochaete to low levels of dissolved oxygen.

LEONARD, C.N.* 1, A.F.HOLLAND 2, C.A.BARANS 2 and D.GILLET 2

Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL 36088 USA 1
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Charleston, SC 29422 USA 2

Abstract:
Tidal creeks are an important economic resource for the state of South Carolina. They serve as a nursery and feeding ground for many fish and crustaceans. Due to hypoxia, tidal creeks are becoming a stressful living environment. Inhabitants of tidal creeks must be able to tolerate low levels of dissolved oxygen in order to survive short periods of hypoxia that are characteristic of South Carolina tidal creeks. Monopylephorus rubroniveus, a marine oligochaete, is the primary benthic organism in the tidal creeks of South Carolina, and has a high tolerance to low levels of dissolved oxygen in comparison to many other marine organisms. The objective of this research was to determine the LT50 (lethal time) under hypoxic conditions for M. rubroniveus and to determine the variance due to the day, site and year of testing. The LT50 was determined to be between 6.3 and 6.5 days when exposed to dissolved oxygen levels less than 10% saturated.

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