Hurlbert, S. H. San Diego State University, shurlbert@sunstroke.sdsu.edu
Gonzalez, M. R. CICESE, mgonza@cicese.mx
Hart, C. M. San Diego State University, cherhart@yahoo.com
Simpson, P. San Diego State University, psimpson@ims.alaska.edu

 
SALINITY, TILAPIA, AND THE SALTON SEA: INSIGHTS FROM A MICROCOSM EXPERIMENT
 
The Salton Sea is a large, eutrophic lake in the California desert with a salinity (43 g/L) that is increasing by about 0.4 g/L/yr and with a dense population of tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus: Cichlidae). A 15-month long microcosm experiment was carried out in 312 L tanks to examine the effects of salinity increase (30, 39, 48, 57, and 65 g/L) and tilapia removal (at 39 and 57 g/L only) on algal and invertebrate populations and nutrient cycling. As salinity increased, Gammarus, phytoplankton, protozoans, and total invertebrate biomass decreased, while Trichocorixa, Artemia, and periphyton abundance decreased. Presence of tilapia caused reduced abundance of phytoplankton, zooplankton and water column nutrients. Microcosm experiments are perhaps an even more useful tool for study of saline lakes than they are for freshwater ones.
 
Day: Thursday, Feb. 4
Time: 04:15 - 04:30pm
Location: Hilton of Santa Fe
 
Code: SS51TH0415E