Zoological Studies

Vol. 51 No. 4, 2012

Impacts of Salinity, Temperature, and pH on the Morphology of Artemia salina (Branchiopoda: Anostraca) from Tunisia

Hachem Ben Naceur*, Amel Ben Rejeb Jenhani, and Mohamed Salah Romdhane

Research Unit Ecosystems and Aquatics Resources (UR03AGRO1), National Institute of Agricultural Sciences of Tunisia, University of Carthage, 43 Av. Charles Nicolle 1082 Tunis MahrajÚne, Tunisia

Hachem Ben Naceur, Amel Ben Rejeb Jenhani, and Mohamed Salah Romdhane (2012) This study was carried out on natural populations of the brine shrimp Artemia salina from 16 salt lakes in Tunisia, with the purpose of determining the impacts of some physicochemical parameters on morphological characters of adult specimens. Males (n = 20) and females (n = 20) from each site were measured using a binocular microscope equipped with an ocular micrometer. Up to 13 and 12 morphologic characters were considered for males and females, respectively. The results showed that the physicochemical parameters provoked different degrees of variation among the studied populations. Pearson’s correlation coefficient showed highly negative significant correlations of salinity and highly positive ones of pH with the width of the 3rd abdominal segment, length of the furca, number of setae inserted on the left branch of the furca, number of setae inserted on the right branch of the furca, width of the head, diameter of the compound eyes, and the maximal distance between them. However, there were no or only a few significant correlation between the temperature and different morphological characters. Furthermore, the principal component analysis divided the different populations studied into 2 groups based on the salinity of the brine.

Key words: Salt lakes, Physicochemical characteristics, Artemia salina, Morphology, Tunisia.

*Correspondence: E-mail:hachem_b_naceur@yahoo.fr