Main Article Content
On the Norwegian mainland, the Arctic tadpole shrimp Lepidurus arcticus is a typically alpine species mainly co-occurring with fish. The Hardangervidda mountain plateau is the main area of the southernmost L. arcticus populations. Here L. arcticus is widely distributed, especially in the central and eastern parts of the plateau. Lepidurus arcticus has a univoltine life cycle emerging from resting eggs at ice break-up and fulfil development during the short mountain summer, before they reproduce and die. The main goal in this study was to investigate the thermal thresholds for L. arcticus. Timing of ice break-up and the proceeding water temperature are hypothesized to constitute the primary drivers of L. arcticus's development and growth. Stomach analyses of brown trout is the most sensitive method for sampling L. arcticus, especially at low densities. Analyses of 4 460 brown trout stomachs revealed that at least 400 degree-days are needed for development and growth from hatching in to adults. It is a significant gradient in climatic conditions on Hardangervidda with a coastal impact in the western part of the plateau with a three - to fourfold winter deposition compared to a dryer inland region in the east. The snow deposits have increased since the 1980s and snow rich winters have been more frequent. An additional increase is projected. This may give lower water temperature and shorter ice-free seasons. Thus, the cold western lakes could be even more hostile habitats for L. arcticus. During the same period, an abrupt increase in spring-summer temperatures was detected. This has improved the conditions for L. arcticus in many lakes. However, as a cold stenotherm species a further increase in temperature may be detrimental. Especially in shallow lakes in the central and eastern parts this may be a problem even without reaching critical levels by inducing life cycle mismatches.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).