A comparison of methods for incubating zooplankton diapausing eggs from sediment of endorheic pans in the Free State, South Africa
Van Vuren, J.H.J.
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Determining the composition of zooplankton in endorheic pans can be challenging, and live sampling of these microcrustaceans does not give a true indication of their species diversity and abundance. The incubation of zooplankton diapausing eggs can assist in determining their diversity and abundance. In this study the efficacy of two incubation methods – isolation and non-isolation – was tested using samples taken in 2013 from five endorheic pans in the Free State province, South Africa. The non-isolation incubation method made use of distilled water in the hatching experiments, whereas the Onbé–Marcus isolation incubation method, using 1:5 v/v ADAM medium/water, was adapted and applied to samples to isolate the diapausing eggs. The isolation method provided hatchlings at a higher rate than that of the non-isolation method, but subsequent removal and identification of the hatchlings was challenging. In particular, the success of the isolation method was putatively related to sediment grain size composition. Some difficulties were also noted in using the non-isolation method in the hatching and growing of anostracans.