Some researchers have also demonstrated that the salinity and alkalinity of Mono Lake has a huge impact on the algae found on the lake (Mono Basin Ecosystem Study Committee of the National Research Council & National Academy of Sciences 1987; Herbst1& Bradley1 1989). The presence of these algae on the lake also influences the growth and development of alkali-fly. According to Wiens, Patten, and Botkin (1993), the salinity of the lake makes it difficult for algae to thrive. This leads to a reduction in the number of algae in Mono Lake, thereby compelling larvae to utilize a high amount of energy to rummage. This normally leaves very little osmoregulation to take place. Most species have no capacity to survive in highly saline water. However, alkali flies breed well in Mono Lake because the lake has a balance of alkalinity and salinity. Research conducted on the lake revealed that the alkaline concentration in Mono Lake is caused by both carbonate and bicarbonate ions drawn into the lake (Nixon 2012). As earlier stated, Mono Lake has only inlets and no outlets. As a result, all the carbonate and bicarbonate ions drawn into the lake end up accumulating, resulting in increased alkalinity. The tributaries of the mono lake include Rush Creek, Lee Vining Creek, and Mill Creek which flows through Lundy Canyon (United Nations Environment Programme 2014).
Alkali flies tend to survive better in waters that are highly alkaline. At the mono lake, for example, the concentration of carbonate and bicarbonate ions is extremely high, making up about 40% of the dissolved solids as noted by Herbst2 (1990). Across the world, there is no lake that is higher in alkali levels that supports insect life. The alkali fly thrives in a highly saline environment. The level of salinity of the lake’s water directly affects the growth and development of the alkali fly and their rates of development. When the water is highly saline, the population of algae reduces and the larvae are forced to use more energy for foraging. This leaves little room for the occurrence of osmoregulation which makes it possible for the alkali fly to balance the quantity of salty in their bodies.
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