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Effect of Temperature Rising on the Stygobitic Crustacean Species Diacyclops belgicus: Does Global Warming Affect Groundwater Populations?

Institute of Ecosystem Study of the CNR—National Research Council of Italy, Via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences, University of L’Aquila, Via Vetoio 1, 67100 Coppito, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2017, 9(12), 951;
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
PDF [4669 KB, uploaded 7 December 2017]


The average global temperature is predicted to increase by 3 °C by the end of this century due to human-induced climate change. The overall metabolism of the aquatic biota will be directly affected by rising temperatures and associated changes. Since thermal stability is a characteristic of groundwater ecosystems, global warming is expected to have a profound effect on the groundwater fauna. The prediction that stygobitic (obligate groundwater dweller) species are vulnerable to climate change includes assumptions about metabolic effects that can only be tested by comparisons across a thermal gradient. To this end, we investigated the effects of two different thermal regimes on the metabolism of the stygobitic copepod species Diacyclops belgicus (Kiefer, 1936). We measured the individual-based oxygen consumption of this species as a proxy of possible metabolic reactions to temperature rising from 14 to 17 °C. We used a sealed glass microplate equipped with planar oxygen sensor spots with optical isolation glued onto the bottom of 80-μL wells integrated with a 24-channel fluorescence-based respirometry system. The tests have provided controversial results according to which the D. belgicus populations should be prudently considered at risk under a global warming scenario. View Full-Text
Keywords: metabolism; respirometry; copepods; crustaceans; groundwater; porous aquifer metabolism; respirometry; copepods; crustaceans; groundwater; porous aquifer

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Di Lorenzo, T.; Galassi, D.M.P. Effect of Temperature Rising on the Stygobitic Crustacean Species Diacyclops belgicus: Does Global Warming Affect Groundwater Populations? Water 2017, 9, 951.

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