Title

Does saltwater flushing reduce viability of diapausing eggs in ship ballast sediment?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2006

Publication Title

Diversity and Distributions

Volume

12

Issue

3

First Page

328

Last Page

335

DOI

10.1111/j.1366-9516.2006.00222.x

Abstract

Flushing of ballast tanks with seawater has been proposed to reduce the risk of invasion associated with residual ballast in 'no ballast on board' ships. The efficacy of this procedure, however, has not been determined. Using diapausing eggs isolated from ballast sediments - as well as from Lake Erie sediment - this study investigated the impact of salinity (0, 8 and 35‰) and temperature (10, 20 and 30°C) on the cumulative abundance and species richness of hatched zooplankton taxa. The rate and amount of hatching varied dramatically between sediments and across salinity-temperature regimes. Although exposure to saline water inhibited emergence of freshwater taxa during the exposure phase of all trials, mixed results were evident after diapausing eggs were returned to freshwater. The efficacy of salinity as a ballast treatment method was temperature dependent, although the direction of the effect was case-specific. Exposure of eggs to saline water was less effective at 10 and 30°C than at 20°C. Although flushing ballast tanks with open ocean water is expected to significantly reduce the number of active invertebrates living in residual ballast water (a potentially larger source of invaders), our results indicate that the most effective treatment conditions for reduction of diapausing egg viability is 8‰ salinity at 20°C. © 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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