Effects of thermal acclimation on water loss rate and tolerance in the collembolan Pogonognathellus flavescens
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A few days of thermal acclimation (to 5°C versus 15°C) may strongly affect tolerance to drought stress in Collembola. To better understand this phenomenon, the effect of acclimation on water loss rate and its consequence for survival in the species Pogonognathellus flavescens Tullberg (Tomoceridae) is investigated. Acclimation does not affect the water content of hydrated animals but animals exposed to 15°C and 76% relative humidity lose water much faster after having been acclimated to 5°C rather than 15°C. Tolerance to water loss is not affected; in both treatment groups, animals survive up to 40% loss of the water content recorded when fully hydrated. The percentage water content of hydrated animals decreases with size, which may explain why the proportion of initial water lost appears to be a better predictor for survival than the amount of remaining water. The proportion of initial water lost per unit time is little influenced by size in animals acclimated to 15°C but increases with decreasing size in the group at 5°C, indicating that acclimation affects a physiological protection against water loss.
- RESEARCH: Chown S