2022 journal article
The acclimatory response of the mayfly Neocloeon triangulifer to dilute conditions is linked to the plasticity of sodium transport
Relative to a growing body of knowledge about the negative consequences of freshwater salinization, little is known about how aquatic insects respond to progressively ion-poor conditions. Here, we examined life-history and physiological acclimation in Neocloeon triangulifer by rearing nymphs from 1-day post-egg hatch to adulthood across a gradient of decreasing Na concentrations (15, 8, 4, 2 and 1 mg l-1 Na). We found no significant changes in survival, growth, development time and whole-body Na content across these treatments. Radiotracer data revealed that nymphs acclimated to their dilute exposures by increasing their rates of Na uptake and were able to maintain a relatively narrow range of uptake rates (±s.e.m.) of 38.5 ± 4.2 µg Na g-1 h-1 across all treatments. By contrast, the Na uptake rates observed in naive nymphs were much more concentration dependent. This acclimatory response is partially explained by differences in ionocyte counts on the gills of nymphs reared under different salinities. Acclimated nymphs were surprisingly less retentive of their sodium composition when subjected to deionized water challenge. By contrasting our findings with a previous N. triangulifer salinity acclimation study, we show a physiological affinity for dilute conditions in this emerging mayfly model.