A gammarid shrimp (Gammarus salinus)

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Summary

Description

Gammarus salinus has a laterally compressed, smooth, curved body, which grows up to 22 mm in length. Its body is divided into three segments; head, pereon (thorax) and pleon (abdomen), but its abdomen is not distinctly demarcated from the thorax in either size or shape. Its head lacks a carapace and is fused with the first thoracic segment. Two well developed elongate pairs of antennae are distinct. Both pairs are pedunculate (a stalk consisting of larger segments) with a long, multi-articulate flagellum. The first pair of antennae have a small accessory flagellum, whilst the second pair have many, longer bristles. Its sessile compound eyes are large, elongate and kidney shaped. Each body segment has its own pair of limbs; pereopods on the thorax and pleopods (used for swimming) and uropods (used for hopping/scudding about on substrata) on the abdomen. The first pair of thoracic limbs are modified into maxillipeds, used for feeding, whilst the second and third pair have a distinctly different, more robust structure and are called gnathopods. The tail-piece (telson) is lobed with bristles and spines. Gammarus salinus appears brownish or greenish brown in colour, with slight transverse banding along the body.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

On all coasts of England, Scotland and Wales in brackish-water, especially in the Humber and Severn Estuaries.

Global distribution

North-west Europe from English Channel to Baltic, some isolated reports of Gammarus salinus on the Iberian Peninsula.

Habitat

Gammarus salinus inhabits brackish waters of an intermediate salinity. The densest populations have been found in the middle reaches of estuaries that do not have a steep salinity gradient. Gammarus salinus lives amongst algae and other vegetation, as well as generally over the sediment surface and beneath stones.

Depth range

0-10 m

Identifying features

  • Laterally compressed smooth body; < 22 mm in length, with limbs on each body segment
  • The lateral lobe of the head is angular and truncated with a deep post-antennal sinus
  • Large, elongated kidney-shaped compound eyes
  • Two pairs of pedunculate antennae. Antenna 1, peduncle article 1 has about 6 ventral groups of bristles (setae), article 2 has 5-6 setal groups and article 3 has 2-3 setal groups. The long multi-articulated flagellum has an accessory flagellum equal in length to the length of peduncle article 2. Antenna 2 more bristled, with calceoli (sensory structure) present in males.
  • Amphipod telson is of major taxonomic importance from specific through to familial level; telson lobes of Gammarus salinus have 3 apical, 1 sub-apical and 1-2 lateral spines, each group with a few setae, which may be longer than associated spines
  • Brownish or greenish brown in colour, with light banding
  • Distinguished from Gammarus zaddachi Sexton, by less pronounced setation (coverage of hair-like bristles) on body and appendages.

Additional information

  • Nine other marine species of Gammarus are found around the British Isles: Gammarus locusta, Gammarus zaddachi, Gammarus oceanicus, Gammarus chevreuxi,Gammarus tigrinus, Gammarus finmarchicus, Gammarus duebeni, Gammarus insensibilis and Gammarus crinicornis (Lincoln, 1979).
  • Accurate identification of amphipods requires a certain amount of manipulation under a microscope.

Listed by

- none -

Biology review

Taxonomy

LevelScientific nameCommon name
ClassMalacostraca
OrderAmphipoda
FamilyGammaridae
GenusGammarus
AuthoritySpooner, 1947
Recent Synonyms

Biology

ParameterData
Typical abundance
Male size range< 22mm
Male size at maturity
Female size range7-8mm
Female size at maturity
Growth formArticulate
Growth rate
Body flexibilityHigh (greater than 45 degrees)
Mobility
Characteristic feeding methodSurface deposit feeder
Diet/food sourceHerbivore
Typically feeds onOrganic detritus and seaweed.
Sociability
Environmental positionEpibenthic
DependencyNo information found.
SupportsNo information
Is the species harmful?No

Biology information

Moulting. Kinné (1960) found that the frequency (days - weeks) at which Gammarus salinus moulted varied with changes in temperature, the intervals being longer in males than in females. Females kept without a male showed a progressive prolongation of the intervals between moults beginning with the 3rd or 4th interval following isolation. Females kept together with males, in pairs, and maintained moults at constant intervals. No differences were observed to occur in different salinities of 5, 10 and 30 psu.

Habitat preferences

ParameterData
Physiographic preferencesEstuary
Biological zone preferencesLower infralittoral, Upper infralittoral
Substratum / habitat preferencesMacroalgae, Coarse clean sand, Gravel / shingle
Tidal strength preferencesModerately strong 1 to 3 knots (0.5-1.5 m/sec.), Strong 3 to 6 knots (1.5-3 m/sec.)
Wave exposure preferencesExtremely sheltered, Sheltered, Very sheltered
Salinity preferencesLow (<18 psu), Reduced (18-30 psu)
Depth range0-10 m
Other preferencesNo text entered
Migration PatternNon-migratory or resident

Habitat Information

Gammarus species are abundant estuarine animals. Spooner (1947) stated that gammarids were adaptable to various surroundings and not limited to particularly specialised ecological niches. Nor did they show gross patchiness of distribution within their habitable range, rather continuous populations occupy the entire length of estuaries, although the proportion of species represented changes from head to mouth. Furthermore, gammarids are relatively indifferent to the nature of the substratum to a remarkable degree. Provided that there is some kind of object to provide them with shelter/cover it does not matter whether the substratum is muddy or stony, the water turbid or clear and almost any kind of organic matter provides detritus upon which to feed (Spooner, 1947).

The distributional range of Gammarus salinus to the south was thought to be restricted as far as the English Channel. However, Van Maren (1975) reported Gammarus salinus for the first time on the Spanish coast in 1974.

Life history

Adult characteristics

ParameterData
Reproductive typeGonochoristic (dioecious)
Reproductive frequency Annual protracted
Fecundity (number of eggs)See additional information
Generation time<1 year
Age at maturity20-30 days
SeasonAutumn - Spring
Life span<1 year

Larval characteristics

ParameterData
Larval/propagule type-
Larval/juvenile development Direct development
Duration of larval stageNot relevant
Larval dispersal potential 100 -1000 m
Larval settlement periodNot relevant

Life history information

Leineweber (1985) sampled a population of Gammarus salinus over 15 months in the south-western Kattegat at Sangstrup Klint, Denmark and reported that Gammarus salinus most likely had two generations per year, mature females were found from late November to late July. However, in the Limfjord, Denmark, the population of Gammarus salinus was reported to only produce one generation between 1977-1978, despite the presence of egg bearing females throughout the year (Kolding & Fenchel, 1979). Juveniles were most numerous from April through to July, and in the warmer months between July and October a relatively stable population was attained. The main reproduction period occurred during the winter months, with 80% of the female population reported to be pregnant, the adult generation died in May.
During reproduction, the male carries the smaller female grasped by his gnathopods, a condition known as amplexus. The animals separate briefly to permit the final preadult moult of the female. Sperm transfer is accomplished quickly; the male twists his abdomen around so that his uropods touch the female marsupium (brood pouch) and sperm are swept into the marsupium by the ventilating current created by the female. Finally the pair separate (Rupert & Barnes, 1994). The eggs are brooded within a chamber, the marsupium, beneath the thorax, formed by shelf-like plates projecting inward from the thoracic coxae.
Kinné (1960) examined the effects of different temperatures and salinity on the incubation time of Gammarus salinus. At a temperature between 19-20 °C females attained sexual maturity (1st oviposition) 20-30 days after hatching; their average length (from tip of rostrum to base of telson) being 7-8 mm. Males reached maturity one or more weeks later than the females. The incubation time (period between oviposition and hatching) of the eggs depended largely on the temperature at which the females were maintained; < 14 °C incubation took over 15 days and decreased to 5 days at 20 °C. As in other amphipods Kinné (1960) found that the fecundity of females increased with length, with numbers of eggs varying in a clutch (Ruppert & Barnes, 1994).

Sensitivity reviewHow is sensitivity assessed?

Physical pressures

Use / to open/close text displayed

 IntoleranceRecoverabilitySensitivityEvidence / Confidence
Substratum loss [Show more]

Substratum loss

Benchmark. All of the substratum occupied by the species or biotope under consideration is removed. A single event is assumed for sensitivity assessment. Once the activity or event has stopped (or between regular events) suitable substratum remains or is deposited. Species or community recovery assumes that the substratum within the habitat preferences of the original species or community is present. Further details

Evidence

Gammarus salinus lives in a variety of locations within the estuarine environment: amongst algae and other vegetation, as well as generally over the sediment surface and beneath stones. Gammarus salinus is a mobile species capable of a rapid escape response and therefore likely to be able to local substratum loss. Nevertheless, a proportion of the population is likely to be removed with the substratum. Therefore, an intolerance assessment of intermediate has been made. Recoverability is likely to be very high (see additional information below.

Intermediate Very high Low Low
Smothering [Show more]

Smothering

Benchmark. All of the population of a species or an area of a biotope is smothered by sediment to a depth of 5 cm above the substratum for one month. Impermeable materials, such as concrete, oil, or tar, are likely to have a greater effect. Further details.

Evidence

Gammarus salinus lives in a variety of locations within the estuarine environment: amongst algae and other vegetation, as well as generally over the sediment surface and beneath stones. It is a mobile species capable of a rapid escape response (back flip) if disturbed, however in the event of suddenly being smothered by 5 cm of sediment individuals resting on the surface may be killed, particularly so if the materials are viscous or impermeable. Intolerance has been assessed to be intermediate. Recovery has been assessed to be very high owing to the production of an new generation within the year (see additional information below).

Intermediate Very high Low Moderate
Increase in suspended sediment [Show more]

Increase in suspended sediment

Benchmark. An arbitrary short-term, acute change in background suspended sediment concentration e.g., a change of 100 mg/l for one month. The resultant light attenuation effects are addressed under turbidity, and the effects of rapid settling out of suspended sediment are addressed under smothering. Further details

Evidence

As an estuarine species Gammarus salinus probably experiences fluctuations in the concentration of suspended sediment, which in the estuarine environment may be measurable in grams per litre (benchmark is mg per litre). Consequently the benchmark increase for the duration of one month is unlikely to affect Gammarus salinus and it has been assessed to be tolerant.

Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Not relevant
Decrease in suspended sediment [Show more]

Decrease in suspended sediment

Benchmark. An arbitrary short-term, acute change in background suspended sediment concentration e.g., a change of 100 mg/l for one month. The resultant light attenuation effects are addressed under turbidity, and the effects of rapid settling out of suspended sediment are addressed under smothering. Further details

Evidence

As an estuarine species Gammarus salinus probably experiences fluctuations in the concentration of suspended sediment, which in the estuarine environment may be measurable in grams per litre (benchmark is mg per litre). Consequently the benchmark decrease for the duration of one month is unlikely to affect Gammarus salinus and it has been assessed to be tolerant.

Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Not relevant
Desiccation [Show more]

Desiccation

  1. A normally subtidal, demersal or pelagic species including intertidal migratory or under-boulder species is continuously exposed to air and sunshine for one hour.
  2. A normally intertidal species or community is exposed to a change in desiccation equivalent to a change in position of one vertical biological zone on the shore, e.g., from upper eulittoral to the mid eulittoral or from sublittoral fringe to lower eulittoral for a period of one year. Further details.

Evidence

Desiccation events are unlikely to prove a lethal factor to a species with a rapid escape response and ability to find cover. Consequently, the species is probably sufficiently mobile to avoid prolonged exposure if stranded and intolerance has been assessed to be low. Recovery is likely to be immediate upon finding cover.

Low Immediate Not sensitive Moderate
Increase in emergence regime [Show more]

Increase in emergence regime

Benchmark. A one hour change in the time covered or not covered by the sea for a period of one year. Further details

Evidence

In the estuarine environment Gammarus salinus may experience regular periods of immersion and emersion. At low tide it probably seeks shelter amongst vegetation, under pebbles / rock or burrows loosely into the surface of the substratum in order to avoid the effects of desiccation. Gammarus salinus is a relatively slow crawler, swimming using the three pairs of pleopods is much faster. However, the speciality of amphipods is the tail-flip, a rapid escape response whereby the abdomen flicks the animal away after the uropods are dug into the ground. Consequently, the species is probably sufficiently mobile to avoid prolonged exposure resulting from an increase in emergence and intolerance has been assessed to be low. Recovery is likely to be immediate upon finding cover.

Low Immediate Not sensitive Moderate
Decrease in emergence regime [Show more]

Decrease in emergence regime

Benchmark. A one hour change in the time covered or not covered by the sea for a period of one year. Further details

Evidence

In the estuarine environment Gammarus salinus may experience regular periods of immersion and emersion. An increased period of immersion may favour fish which prey upon Gammarus salinus such as sprats, Sprattus sprattus. However, although normally abundant in the environment, Gammarus salinus was ingested in disproportionately small quantities by other fish, perhaps reflecting its concealment amongst floating weeds and a selection made by larger fish against small (< 1 cm) prey items (Moore & Moore, 1976). Intolerance has been assessed to be low and recoverability likely to be very high (see additional information, below).

Low Very high Very Low Moderate
Increase in water flow rate [Show more]

Increase in water flow rate

A change of two categories in water flow rate (view glossary) for 1 year, for example, from moderately strong (1-3 knots) to very weak (negligible). Further details

Evidence

Spooner (1947) stated that species of Gammarus are relatively indifferent to the nature of the substratum to a remarkable degree, provided that there is some kind of object to provide them with shelter/cover. However, an increase in the water flow rate would increase scour which, over the period of a year (see benchmark) may create the problem of retaining a position in the estuarine environment, against conditions of net seaward transport. Therefore intolerance has been assessed to be high as the population may be washed from the estuary. Recovery and repopulation are likely to occur within a year (see additional information, below).

High Very high Low Low
Decrease in water flow rate [Show more]

Decrease in water flow rate

A change of two categories in water flow rate (view glossary) for 1 year, for example, from moderately strong (1-3 knots) to very weak (negligible). Further details

Evidence

A decrease in water flow rate, in the absence of wave action determining particle grain size, would favour the accretion of finer silts and clays. Such deposition would alter not only the physical properties of the substratum, but also the chemical properties, especially the degree of oxygenation. Spooner (1947) stated that species of Gammarus are relatively indifferent to the nature of the substratum to a remarkable degree, provided that there is some kind of object to provide them with shelter/cover and such changes are unlikely to be of consequence to Gammarus salinus. Therefore, an assessment of tolerant has been made.

Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Not relevant
Increase in temperature [Show more]

Increase in temperature

  1. A short-term, acute change in temperature; e.g., a 5°C change in the temperature range for three consecutive days. This definition includes ‘short-term’ thermal discharges.
  2. A long-term, chronic change in temperature; e.g. a 2°C change in the temperature range for a year. This definition includes ‘long term’ thermal discharges.

For intertidal species or communities, the range of temperatures includes the air temperature regime for that species or community. Further details

Evidence

Gammarus salinus lives in brackish waters and experiences a variety of temperature and salinity changes. Furch (1972) exposed Gammarus salinus to both constant (8 °C, 14 °C & 20 °C) and fluctuating (daily fluctuations between 8 °C to 20 °C) temperatures. The species revealed significant differences in heat resistance, which became apparent within 12 hours. Gammarus salinus was able to endure long term exposure (2 to 4 weeks) to fluctuating temperatures, although fast temperature changes (every hour) were less well tolerated by it than slower temperature fluctuations (2 hours). Intolerance has been assessed to be low, as acute temperature changes may cause additional stress but did not result in mortality. Recovery from rapid fluctuations was apparent within a matter of hours, therefore recovery has been assessed to be immediate. Parasitized specimens may be more intolerant of acute temperature increases.

Low Immediate Not sensitive Moderate
Decrease in temperature [Show more]

Decrease in temperature

  1. A short-term, acute change in temperature; e.g., a 5°C change in the temperature range for three consecutive days. This definition includes ‘short-term’ thermal discharges.
  2. A long-term, chronic change in temperature; e.g. a 2°C change in the temperature range for a year. This definition includes ‘long term’ thermal discharges.

For intertidal species or communities, the range of temperatures includes the air temperature regime for that species or community. Further details

Evidence

Gammarus salinus lives in brackish waters and experiences a variety of temperature and salinity changes. The distribution of Gammarus salinus extends to the north of the UK, into the Baltic Sea, so the species would probably tolerate a chronic decrease of 2 °C. Acute temperature decreases may cause death of vulnerable individuals, such as those that are parasitized owing to additional stress, and intolerance has been assessed to be intermediate.

Intermediate Very high Low Low
Increase in turbidity [Show more]

Increase in turbidity

  1. A short-term, acute change; e.g., two categories of the water clarity scale (see glossary) for one month, such as from medium to extreme turbidity.
  2. A long-term, chronic change; e.g., one category of the water clarity scale (see glossary) for one year, such as from low to medium turbidity. Further details

Evidence

Gammarus salinus may feed upon macroalgae as well as detritus, which is dependant on light availability for photosynthesis. An increase in turbidity for the duration of a year would reduce light penetration and therefore probably the abundance of macroalgae as a food resource which may consequently affect the species viability. Therefore intolerance to increased turbidity has been assessed to be low. The species is likely to have a very high capacity for recovery (see additional information below).

Low Very high Very Low Low
Decrease in turbidity [Show more]

Decrease in turbidity

  1. A short-term, acute change; e.g., two categories of the water clarity scale (see glossary) for one month, such as from medium to extreme turbidity.
  2. A long-term, chronic change; e.g., one category of the water clarity scale (see glossary) for one year, such as from low to medium turbidity. Further details

Evidence

Gammarus salinus is not likely to be directly sensitive to decreased turbidity.

Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Not relevant
Increase in wave exposure [Show more]

Increase in wave exposure

A change of two ranks on the wave exposure scale (view glossary) e.g., from Exposed to Extremely exposed for a period of one year. Further details

Evidence

Gammarus salinus normally inhabits relatively well sheltered estuarine environments. It is likely to be washed away as a result of increased wave exposure owing to turbulence displacing it from shelter. The algae on which it feeds may also become detached, reducing its food source. Consequently intolerance has been assessed to be high.

High High Moderate Low
Decrease in wave exposure [Show more]

Decrease in wave exposure

A change of two ranks on the wave exposure scale (view glossary) e.g., from Exposed to Extremely exposed for a period of one year. Further details

Evidence

Decreased wave exposure is likely to result in changes to the composition of the estuarine substratum e.g., the accretion of finer particulate matter, settling out as a result of reduced turbulence. However, Spooner (1947) considered that species of Gammarus were relatively indifferent to the nature of the substratum to a remarkable degree, provided that they could find cover and it has been assessed as tolerant of a decrease in wave exposure.

Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Low
Noise [Show more]

Noise

  1. Underwater noise levels e.g., the regular passing of a 30-metre trawler at 100 metres or a working cutter-suction transfer dredge at 100 metres for one month during important feeding or breeding periods.
  2. Atmospheric noise levels e.g., the regular passing of a Boeing 737 passenger jet 300 metres overhead for one month during important feeding or breeding periods. Further details

Evidence

Gammarus salinus may respond to vibrations caused by noise, but it is unlikely to be directly sensitive to noise at the benchmark level.

Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Not relevant
Visual presence [Show more]

Visual presence

Benchmark. The continuous presence for one month of moving objects not naturally found in the marine environment (e.g., boats, machinery, and humans) within the visual envelope of the species or community under consideration. Further details

Evidence

Gammarus salinus is unlikely to have the visual acuity to detect the presence of boats, machinery present in its environment, and it has been assessed not to be sensitive to the factor.

Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Not relevant
Abrasion & physical disturbance [Show more]

Abrasion & physical disturbance

Benchmark. Force equivalent to a standard scallop dredge landing on or being dragged across the organism. A single event is assumed for assessment. This factor includes mechanical interference, crushing, physical blows against, or rubbing and erosion of the organism or habitat of interest. Where trampling is relevant, the evidence and trampling intensity will be reported in the rationale. Further details.

Evidence

Gammarus salinus is small, a highly mobile and likely to be able to avoid physical disturbance or to pass through passing fishing gear. Therefore, it has been assessed to be tolerant of physical disturbance.

Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Not relevant
Displacement [Show more]

Displacement

Benchmark. Removal of the organism from the substratum and displacement from its original position onto a suitable substratum. A single event is assumed for assessment. Further details

Evidence

Gammarus salinus is a mobile species and therefore an intolerance assessment for displacement was not considered to be relevant.

Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant

Chemical pressures

Use [show more] / [show less] to open/close text displayed

 IntoleranceRecoverabilitySensitivityEvidence / Confidence
Synthetic compound contamination [Show more]

Synthetic compound contamination

Sensitivity is assessed against the available evidence for the effects of contaminants on the species (or closely related species at low confidence) or community of interest. For example:

  • evidence of mass mortality of a population of the species or community of interest (either short or long term) in response to a contaminant will be ranked as high sensitivity;
  • evidence of reduced abundance, or extent of a population of the species or community of interest (either short or long term) in response to a contaminant will be ranked as intermediate sensitivity;
  • evidence of sub-lethal effects or reduced reproductive potential of a population of the species or community of interest will be assessed as low sensitivity.

The evidence used is stated in the rationale. Where the assessment can be based on a known activity then this is stated. The tolerance to contaminants of species of interest will be included in the rationale when available; together with relevant supporting material. Further details.

Evidence

No information specifically concerning the effects of synthetic chemicals upon Gammarus salinus was found. However, in the closely related Gammarus duebeni, reproductive behaviour in the male is evoked by its detection of a chemical cue from the female. The cue is perceived by receptors on the second antennae and its function is to synchronize mating with the suitable phase of ecdysis in the female. Low concentration of the surfactant TWEEN 80 were shown to interfere with the reception of the females chemical cues, resulting in a decrease in mating success (Lyes, 1979).
Lawrence & Poulter (2001) examined the effect of pentachlorophenol (PCP) and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) on the embryogenesis, and swimming stamina of Chaetogammarus marinus against a pump driven head of water. Swimming stamina was significantly impaired at a concentration of 40 µg PCP/l and 20µg B[a]P/l, whilst development of in vitro cultured embryos was significantly impaired by 20 µg /l of both PCP and B[a]P.
intolerance has been assessed to be low owing to evidence of sub-lethal effects and reduced reproductive potential. Gammarus salinus is likely to have a very high capacity for recovery (see additional information below), assuming deterioration of the contaminants.

Low Very high Very Low Moderate
Heavy metal contamination [Show more]

Heavy metal contamination

Evidence

  • No information specifically concerning the effects of heavy metals upon Gammarus salinus was found. However, a closely related species Gammarus zaddachi occurred in the brackish water upper reaches of Restronguet Creek, Fal Estuary, Cornwall, and over the creeks entire length there was a continuous population of gammarids, which was composed of several species of a typical succession (Bryan & Gibbs, 1983). Water entering Restronguet Creek from the Carnon River was acidic (pH 3.8) and contained high concentrations of soluble Fe (18500µg/l), Zn (12030µg/l), Mn (2974µg/l) and Cu (474µg/l) (Table 1, Site 1, Bryan & Gibbs, 1983). However, there was no further information concerning specific effects of such heavy metal concentrations on the gammarids, except to say that the flora and fauna in general in Restronguet Creek was less obviously affected than might be predicted from toxicity data in the literature. Possible reasons being development of metal-tolerant strains and/or the ability of species to migrate into other less contaminated areas of the Fal System (Bryan & Gibbs, 1983).

  • Lawrence & Poulter (2001) examined the effect of copper on the embryogenesis and swimming stamina of Chaetogammarus marinus against a pump driven head of water. Swimming stamina was significantly impaired at a concentration of 15 µg Cu/l, whilst development of in vitro cultured embryos was significantly impaired by 20 µg Cu/l. Copper exposure extended the period of embryogenesis by 4 to 8 days and specific stages in the embryos' development were affected. These two assays were also responsive at environmental concentrations periodically experienced at some locations on the Humber Estuary, UK (Lawrence & Poulter, 2001).

  • Ritz (1980) examined the tolerance of two intertidal amphipods, Gammarus duebeni and Marinogammarus marinus to copper under static conditions. For Marinogammarus marinus the LT50 varied from 106 hours in 0.04 ppm Cu, to 3 hours in 4 ppm Cu. Mortality in 0.04 ppm Cu was not significantly different to that in the control. For Gammarus duebeni the corresponding LT50 values were > 5 days at 0.04 ppm Cu and 3 hours at 4 ppm Cu. At concentrations of 0.04 ppm and below, the copper was not acutely toxic to Gammarus duebeni.

intolerance has been assessed to be low owing to evidence of only sub-lethal effects of heavy metals and influence upon embryogenesis in another closely related species. Gammarus salinus is likely to have a very high capacity for recovery (see additional information below), assuming deterioration of the contaminants.

Low Very high Very Low Moderate
Hydrocarbon contamination [Show more]

Hydrocarbon contamination

Evidence

Amphipods have been reported to be sensitive to oil (Suchanek, 1993).

  • Ponat (1975) observed the narcotic effect of crude oil on Gammarus salinus, which reduced the species oxygen consumption to 40 % of normal levels.
  • Lindén (1976) also observed narcosis in Gammarus oceanicus, a species related to Gammarus salinus, exposed to concentrations of oil between 5 and 20 mg/l, which caused an initial period of hectic swimming and then deterioration in crawling ability. Furthermore sub-lethal concentrations of crude oil (1-40µg /l) proved to be responsible for a reduction in the numbers of sexually mature adults of Gammarus oceanicus entering precopula, a requirement of successful fertilization (Lindén, 1976b).
  • Penetration of the substratum by oil released from the Amoco Cadiz translated into massive mortality of amphipods of the genus Ampelisca in the fine sand of the Bay of Morlaix, north-west Brittany, France (Cabioch et al., 1978).

intolerance of Gammarus salinus to hydrocarbon contamination has been assessed to be high. Despite a very high capacity for recovery (see additional information below), recovery from hydrocarbon contamination has been assessed to be high rather than very high owing to the probable persistence of oil in sediments and the likelihood that juveniles are especially susceptible.

High High Moderate High
Radionuclide contamination [Show more]

Radionuclide contamination

Evidence

Insufficient
information.

No information Not relevant No information Not relevant
Changes in nutrient levels [Show more]

Changes in nutrient levels

Evidence

Gammarus salinus is a both a detritivore and herbivore, consequently it may benefit form nutrient enrichment that stimulates the productivity of phytoplankton and macroalgae. Anger (1977) listed Gammarus salinus as an indicator species for slight organic pollution. Furthermore, Gammarus salinus has demonstrated a negative rheotaxic response to lethal and sublethal concentrations of oxygen (see oxygenation) which may result as a consequence of eutrophication. Therefore it has been assessed to be tolerant* to nutrient enrichment.

Tolerant* Not relevant Not sensitive* Low
Increase in salinity [Show more]

Increase in salinity

  1. A short-term, acute change; e.g., a change of two categories from the MNCR salinity scale for one week (view glossary) such as from full to reduced.
  2. A long-term, chronic change; e.g., a change of one category from the MNCR salinity scale for one year (view glossary) such as from reduced to low. Further details.

Evidence

Gammarus salinus is a euryhaline species relatively tolerant of salinities as low as 2 psu and as high as 30 psu, but it is most abundant at 10 psu. It is likely that the species would experience some physiological stress following an acute increase in salinity (see decrease in salinity below), intolerance has therefore been assessed to be low and, as an euryhaline species, it is likely to recover relatively rapidly.

Low Immediate Not sensitive Low
Decrease in salinity [Show more]

Decrease in salinity

  1. A short-term, acute change; e.g., a change of two categories from the MNCR salinity scale for one week (view glossary) such as from full to reduced.
  2. A long-term, chronic change; e.g., a change of one category from the MNCR salinity scale for one year (view glossary) such as from reduced to low. Further details.

Evidence

Gammarus salinus is a euryhaline species relatively tolerant of salinities as low as 2 psu and as high as 30 psu, but it is most abundant at 10 psu. Bulnheim (1984) recorded the respiratory response of Gammarus salinus in response to an acute salinity change, from 30 psu to 10 psu, respiration rate moderately increased after an initial shock like response and initially specimens were quiescent as they acclimated to the decreased salinity but recovered within 24 hours. Intolerance has therefore been assessed to be low and recovery immediate.

Low Immediate Not sensitive High
Changes in oxygenation [Show more]

Changes in oxygenation

Benchmark.  Exposure to a dissolved oxygen concentration of 2 mg/l for one week. Further details.

Evidence

Gammarids are occasionally found in locations with reduced O2 tensions, especially on soft substratum, in stagnant pools and in polluted waters. In deeper waters oxygen deficiency may be accompanied by the formation of hydrogen sulphide. Bulnheim (1984) examined the survival rates of five gammarid species held in brackish water with poor oxygenation. The LT 50 for Gammarus salinus held at 15 °C, 10 psu with a depleted oxygen level of 0.5 ml O2/l was 6.5 hours, 100% mortality occurred after 15 hours. Gammarus salinus being more tolerant than Gammarus locusta and Gammarus oceanicus. Gammarus salinus had an LT50 of 4 hours in brackish-water (10 psu) with oxygen depletion in the presence of hydrogen sulphide (< 0.2 ml O2/l + 50 mg Na2S.9H2O/l) at 15 °C . However, Vobis (1973) used an experimental vessel to observe the behaviour of gammarids in various water current speeds and oxygen concentrations. In adequately oxygenated waters, Gammarus salinus demonstrated a moderate positive rheotaxis (swimming into the current). Lethal and sublethal oxygen concentrations, however, led to negative rheotaxis (swimming away from the current). Oxygen deficiency caused Gammarus salinus to swim downstream at 2.5 mg O2 per litre. An intolerance assessment of low has been made, as the species can avoid the factor. The species is likely to repopulate areas as soon as the oxygen concentration of the water becomes optimal and recovery has been assessed to be immediate.

Low Immediate Not sensitive High

Biological pressures

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 IntoleranceRecoverabilitySensitivityEvidence / Confidence
Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasites [Show more]

Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasites

Benchmark. Sensitivity can only be assessed relative to a known, named disease, likely to cause partial loss of a species population or community. Further details.

Evidence

Gammarus salinus, Gammarus zaddachi and Gammarus oceanicus were found to be important host species for the transmission of parasites (Voigt, 1991). Larval stages of 4 fish parasites (1 Nematoda, 2 Acanthocephala and 1 Digena) as well as larval stages of 4 bird parasites (1 Nematoda, 1 Acanthocephala, 1 Digena and 1 Cestoda) were found. However, there was insufficient information concerning the effect that such parasitization may have on the species viability.

No information Not relevant No information Not relevant
Introduction of non-native species [Show more]

Introduction of non-native species

Sensitivity assessed against the likely effect of the introduction of alien or non-native species in Britain or Ireland. Further details.

Evidence

No information concerning non-native species that might affect the abundance or survival of Gammarus salinus was found.

No information Not relevant No information Not relevant
Extraction of this species [Show more]

Extraction of this species

Benchmark. Extraction removes 50% of the species or community from the area under consideration. Sensitivity will be assessed as 'intermediate'. The habitat remains intact or recovers rapidly. Any effects of the extraction process on the habitat itself are addressed under other factors, e.g. displacement, abrasion and physical disturbance, and substratum loss. Further details.

Evidence

Gammarus salinus is not a species targeted for extraction.

Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant
Extraction of other species [Show more]

Extraction of other species

Benchmark. A species that is a required host or prey for the species under consideration (and assuming that no alternative host exists) or a keystone species in a biotope is removed. Any effects of the extraction process on the habitat itself are addressed under other factors, e.g. displacement, abrasion and physical disturbance, and substratum loss. Further details.

Evidence

No information concerning the extraction of other species that might affect the abundance or survival of Gammarus salinus was found.

No information Not relevant No information Not relevant

Additional information

Recoverability. Gammarus salinus is an abundant, widespread species which typically produces two generations within its lifespan of a year, consequently the species is likely to have a very high capacity for recovery.

Importance review

Policy/legislation

- no data -

Status

Non-native

ParameterData
Native-
Origin-
Date Arrived-

Importance information

  • In the Severn Estuary, sprats, Sprattus sprattus, fed chiefly on Gammarus salinus or on Neomysis integer. However, although normally abundant in the environment, Gammarus salinus was ingested in disproportionately small quantities by other fish, perhaps reflecting its concealment amongst floating weeds and a selection made by larger fish against small (< 1 cm) prey items (Moore & Moore, 1976).
  • Gammarus salinus has a documented role as a seaweed disperser (Breeman & Hoeksema, 1987). The red seaweed Audouinella purpurea (= Rhodochorton purpureum) was able to survive digestion and grew in the field from faecal pellets of Gammarus salinus in the northern Netherlands.
  • Bibliography

    1. Anger, K., 1977. Benthic invertebrates as indicators of organic pollution in the western Baltic Sea. Internationale Revue der Gesamten Hydrobiologie, 62, 245-254.

    2. Breeman, A.M. & Hoeksema, B.W., 1987. Vegetative propagation of the red alga Rhodochorton purpureum by means of fragments that escape digestion by herbivores. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 35, 197-201.

    3. Bryan, G.W. & Gibbs, P.E., 1983. Heavy metals from the Fal estuary, Cornwall: a study of long-term contamination by mining waste and its effects on estuarine organisms. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [Occasional Publication, no. 2.]

    4. Bulnheim, H.P., 1984. Physiological responses of various Gammarus species to environmental stress. Limnologica (Berlin), 15, 461-467.

    5. Cabioch, L., Dauvin, J.C. & Gentil, F., 1978. Preliminary observations on pollution of the sea bed and disturbance of sub-littoral communities in northern Brittany by oil from the Amoco Cadiz. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 9, 303-307.

    6. Crothers, J.H. (ed.), 1966. Dale Fort Marine Fauna. London: Field Studies Council.

    7. Eltringham, S.K., 1971. Life in mud and sand. London: The English Universities Press Ltd.

    8. Furch, K., 1972. The influence of pretreatment with constant and fluctuating temperatures on the heat resistance of Gammarus salinus and Idotea balthica. Marine Biology, 15, 12-34.

    9. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

    10. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line] http://www.jncc.gov.uk/mermaid

    11. Kinné, O., 1960. Gammarus salinus - einige Daten uber den Umwelt-einfluss auf Wachstum, Hautungsfolge, Herzfrequenz und Eientwicklungsdauer. Crustaceana, 1, 208-217.

    12. Kolding, S. & Fenchel, T.M., 1979. Coexistence and life cycle characteristics of five species of the amphipod genus Gammarus. Oikos, 33, 323-327.

    13. Kolding, S., 1981. A key for marine and brackishwater Gammarus species (Crustacea, Amphipoda). Natura Jutlandica, 19, 57-60.

    14. Lawrence, A.J. & Poulter, C., 2001. Impact of copper, pentachlorophenol and benzo[a]pyrene on the swimming efficiency and embryogenesis of the amphipod Chaetogammarus marinus. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 223, 213-223.

    15. Leineweber, P., 1985. The life-cycles of four amphipod species in the Kattegat. Holarctic Ecology, 8, 165-174.

    16. Lincoln, R.J., 1979. British Marine Amphipoda: Gammaridea. London: British Museum (Natural History).

    17. Lindén, O., 1976. Effects of oil on the amphipod Gammarus oceanicus. Environmental Pollution, 10, 239-250.

    18. Lindén, O., 1976b. Effects of oil on the reproduction of the amphipod Gammarus oceanicus. Ambio, 5, 36-37.

    19. Lyes, M.C., 1979. The reproductive behaviour of Gammarus duebeni (Lilljeborg), and the inhibitory effect of a surface active agent. Marine Behaviour and Physiology, 6, 47-55.

    20. Moore, J.W. & Moore, I.A., 1976. The basis of food selection in some estuarine fishes; eels, Anguilla anguilla (L.), whiting, Merlangius merlangus (L.), sprat, Sprattus sprattus and stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus (L.). Journal of Fish Biology, 9, 375-390.

    21. Ponat, A., 1975. Investigations on the influence of crude oil on the survival and oxygen consumption of Idotea baltica and Gammarus salinus. Kieler Meeresforschungen, 31, 26-31.

    22. Ritz, D.D., 1980. Tolerance of intertidal amphipods to fluctuating conditions of salinity, oxygen and copper. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 60, 489-498.

    23. Roast, S.D., Widdows, J. & Jones, M.B., 1999c. Respiratory responses of the estuarine mysid Neomysis integer (Peracarida: Mysidacea) in relation to a variable environment. Marine Biology, 133, 643-649.

    24. Ruppert, E.E. & Barnes, R.D., 1994. Invertebrate zoology (6th ed.). Fort Worth, USA: Saunders College Publishing.

    25. Spooner, G.M., 1947. The distribution of Gammarus species in estuaries. Part 1. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 27, 1-52.

    26. Suchanek, T.H., 1993. Oil impacts on marine invertebrate populations and communities. American Zoologist, 33, 510-523. DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/33.6.510

    27. Vobis, H., 1973. Rheotactic behaviour of some Gammarus species in different oxygen concentrations of the water. Helgolander Wissenschaftliche Meeresuntersuchungen, 25, 495-508.

    28. Voigt, M.O.C., 1991. Community structure of the helminth parasite fauna of gammarids (Crustacea: Amphipoda) in Kiel Bay, western Baltic Sea. Meeresforschung, 33, 266-274.

    Datasets

    1. Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre, 2017. BRERC species records recorded over 15 years ago. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/h1ln5p accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

    2. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

    3. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

    4. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2024-02-21

    Citation

    This review can be cited as:

    Budd, G.C. 2002. Gammarus salinus A gammarid shrimp. In Tyler-Walters H. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 21-02-2024]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1699

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    Last Updated: 19/08/2002