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Baltic isopod Idotea balthica
Photo: Joakim Hansen/Azote
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Desalination jeopardizes the future of Baltic Sea isopods

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New publication from CeMEB member Pierre De Wit and collegues shows that future desalination will hamper the survival as well as the genetic diversity of Baltic isopods.

Highlights from the article:

  • Climate change models predict that seawater salinity will drop in the Baltic sea
  • We used a full-sib design to test experimentally the effects of hyposalinity on two populations of the isopod Idotea balthica
  • We measured survival and loss of alleles due to hyposalinity
  • Broods of Idotea exposed to hyposalinity had lower survival and lost several alleles. 
  • Our results show that future desalination will hamper the survival as well as the genetic diversity of Baltic I. balthica.

Read the article: Climate change driven hyposalinity as a selective agent in the littoral mesoherbivore Idotea balthica, by Luca Rugiu, Pierre De Wit, Iita Kostian & Veijo Jormalainen. Published in Marine Environmental Research, November 2020. 

An interview with first author Luca Rugiu is found here..

This article is produced within the BONUS Bambi project – Baltic Sea Marine Biodiversity – running 2014 to 2017. Read more publications from Bambi here.