Overcoming the seasonal variations in fitness of the amphipod Corophium Volutator as an environmental toxicology test species using laboratory cultured specimens.
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The marine amphipod Corophium volutator is an important source of food for many fish and wading birds, making it an important species in an estuarine environment and a relevant toxicological test species. Historical data has indicated that seasonal variations in the fitness of C. volutator may make toxicity testing during summer months impossible. C. volutator were cultured in the laboratory to determine if variations in the fitness of wild C. volutator could be overcome with the use of cultured specimens. Adult and neonate C. volutator were cultured separately under different feeding regimes with Tetraselmis chuii and Rhodomonas reticulate as food sources. Cultures were maintained at a salinity of 30-35 ppt, with a temperature of 15 °C ± 2, dissolved oxygen was maintained at ≥80% saturation. Assessments of growth rates, time until sexual maturity, and numbers of offspring produced were made from these trials. During this study, a growth rate of 0.0648 mm ± 0.0185 mm per day was determined. The preferred feeding regime was a combination of T. chuii and R. reticulate. The average number of offspring produced per C. volutator over 132 days of culturing was 8.6. Experiments indicate that C. volutator may be cultured under laboratory conditions, however, further work is required to increase the reproductive output of cultured C. volutator.