International study on Artemia LXIII. Field study of the Artemia urmiana (Günther, 1890) population in Lake Urmiah, Iran
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- Van Stappen, G., Fayazi, G. & Sorgeloos, P. Hydrobiologia (2001) 466: 133. doi:10.1023/A:1014510730467
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Lake Urmiah is a large (total surface 4750–6100 km2 in recent times) thalassohaline hypersaline lake (150–180 g l−1 in the period 1994–1996), located in northwestern Iran. It is the habitat of the endemic Artemia urmiana. Over the period July 1994–January 1996 a sampling campaign was organized: 36 fixed sampling stations, distributed over the entire lake's area, were sampled weekly to determine water temperature, salinity and transparency. At each occasion a filter net was dragged over a distance of 400 m in the superficial water layer to assess the density and composition of the Artemia population. A more limited sampling campaign focused on the annual fluctuations in chlorophyll concentration and on the reproductive behaviour of the brine shrimp population. Several stages of brine shrimp survived during winter months (water temperature 3°C) at low densities. Compared to available data for the Great Salt Lake, USA, Lake Urmiah shows a low algal biomass and overall low Artemia density. The increasing grazing pressure of the developing brine shrimp population in spring seems to prevent the phytoplankton from reaching high blooming concentrations, and oviparity is the dominant reproductive mode throughout the reproductive season.