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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Evaluation of the Egg Bank of Two Small Himalayan Lakes

1
CNR-IRSA, Largo Tonolli 50, 28922 Verbania (VB), Italy
2
Independent Researcher, Via Rimembranza 12, 28043 Bellinzago Novarese (NO), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020491
Received: 18 December 2019 / Revised: 24 January 2020 / Accepted: 6 February 2020 / Published: 11 February 2020
High mountain lakes are biodiversity treasures. They host endemic taxa, adapted to live in extreme environments. Among adaptations, production of diapausing eggs allows for overcoming the cold season. These diapausing eggs can rest in the sediments, providing a biotic reservoir known as an egg bank. Here, we estimated changes in abundance of the egg bank in two lakes in the Khumbu Region of the Himalayas, during the last ca. 1100 and 500 years, respectively, by analyzing two sediment cores. We tested viability of the diapausing eggs extracted from different layers of the sediment cores under laboratory conditions. We found that only diapausing eggs of the Monogont rotifer Hexarthra bulgarica nepalensis were able to hatch, thus suggesting that a permanent egg bank is lacking for the other taxa of the lakes, not least for the two Daphnia species described from these sites. Our results confirm previous studies suggesting that in high mountain lakes, the production of diapausing is mainly devoted to seasonal recruitment, therefore leading to a nonpermanent egg bank. The different ability of different taxa to leave viable diapausing eggs in the sediments of high mountain lakes therefore poses serious constraints to capability of buffering risk of biodiversity loss in these extremely fragile environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: zooplankton; diapausing eggs; high mountain lakes; Himalayas zooplankton; diapausing eggs; high mountain lakes; Himalayas
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MDPI and ACS Style

Piscia, R.; Bovio, S.; Manca, M.; Lami, A.; Guilizzoni, P. Evaluation of the Egg Bank of Two Small Himalayan Lakes. Water 2020, 12, 491.

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