Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Student Research Presentations

Hypoxic impacts on egg respiration rates of the copepod Acartia tonsa




Villalobos, C.* and J. Pierson


Western Society of Naturalists, Oxnard, California


The Chesapeake Bay has experienced extensive areas of hypoxia (< 2mg O2 L-1) in the past half-century as a direct result of eutrophication. The copepod Acartia tonsa serves as a valuable prey item to higher trophic levels in the Chesapeake Bay and past studies have detected negative hypoxic effects on reproductive and egg development rates. However, the physiological mechanism causing these negative effects in A. tonsa are not well understood. The goal of this study is to examine if lowered A. tonsa respiration rates may be a potential physiological mechanism impacted by hypoxia in the Chesapeake Bay. Egg development rates and hatching success of A. tonsa will be measured in hypoxic (> 2mg/L O2) and fully oxygenated (~7.99mg/L O2) waters. Lowered respiration rate in hypoxic conditions may contribute to decreases in A. tonsa egg production, sinking rates, and ultimately egg hatching success. Results of this study will examine how future A. tonsa populations will be impacted in a changing environment as well as determining the future health of their predators.


James Pierson, Ph.D.


Cristina Villalobos, California State University Monterey Bay

The REU students are indicated with an asterisk (*).