Starkweather, P. L. University of Nevada, Las Vegas, strkwthr@ccmail.nevada.edu
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DROUGHT AND DELUGE: DESERT EPHEMERAL POND CRUSTACEANS SHOW VARIABILITY IN LIFE HISTORY, PHYSIOLOGY AND POPULATION DYNAMICS
 
From the aquatic perspective, ephemeral ponds and playa lakes in warm deserts must be considered to be among the most extreme environments on earth. This is partially (and obviously) because inundation is infrequent; desert precipitation is low, highly seasonal and spatially heterogeneous. In the central Mojave Desert, diapause embryos of several crustacean taxa (largely eubranchiopods, cladocerans and copepods) must persist in dessicated sediments frequently exceeding 65 degree surface temperatures in summer and with weeks of diel freeze-thaw cycles in winter. When the systems are inundated, these largely planktonic groups face the additional possibility of wash-out by repeated flash floods. The life history patterns, physiology and population dynamics of these organisms are therefore driven by alternating stressors of drought and deluge. Despite this commonality for all residents, various taxa display quite different and unique patterns of (for instance) diapause release and induction, metabolic and growth rates and population age structures.
 
Day: Thursday, Feb. 4
Time: 02:45 - 03:00pm
Location: Hilton of Santa Fe
 
Code: SS24TH0245H