1. Sodium uptake and loss rates are given for three gammarids acclimatized to media ranging from fresh water to undiluted sea water.
2. In Gammarus zaddachi and G. tigrinus the sodium transporting system at the body surface is half-saturated at an external concentration of about 1 mM/l. and fully saturated at about 10 mM/l. sodium. In Marinogammarus finmarchicus the respective concentrations are six to ten times higher.
3. M. finmarchicus is more permeable to water and salts than G. zaddachi and G. tigrinus. Estimated urine flow rates were equivalent to 6.5% body weight/hr./ osmole gradient at 10°C. in M. finmarchicus and 2.8% body weight/hr./osmole gradient in G. zaddachi. The permeability of the body surface to outward diffusion of sodium was four times higher in M. finmarchicus, but sodium losses across the body surface represent at least 50% of the total losses in both M. finmarchicus and G. zaddachi.
4. Calculations suggest that G. zaddachi produces urine slightly hypotonic to the blood when acclimatized to the range 20% down to 2% sea water. In fresh water the urine sodium concentration is reduced to a very low level.
5. The process of adaptation to fresh water in gammarid crustaceans is illustrated with reference to a series of species from marine, brackish and freshwater habitats.
- Copyright © 1968 The Company of Biologists Ltd.