Effects of lunar cycles on Artemia density in hypersaline environments
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The effects of lunar cycles are known to have an influence, although not yet clear, on the behavior of aquatic organisms. A study was conducted in two different locations (Manaure, Guajira and Chengue, Magdalena, Caribbean coast, Colombia) during July and August, 1997 and November, 1998 to determine the effects of medium term cycles (lunar cycles) on the presence of Artemia franciscana (Crustacea: Anostraca) density. Samples were collected every 4 h from each of 20 fixed stations in a salt production pond during a 24-h sampling period at the peak of the four lunar phases. The data were analyzed using a mixed ANOVA model, setting lunar phases and sampling time intervals as fixed effects, station as the random effect and density as the dependent variable. No significant difference was determined between increasing and decreasing moon. Artemia density was not significantly (P>0.05) higher during new moon compared to full moon. The influence of temperature over Artemia sampling density was clearly noticed, and was a shading factor over the possible effects of any particular lunar phase over Artemia density at any particular sampling time.
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