1. Sodium influx and loss rates in Gammarus pulex were measured at constant temperatures. The sodium loss rate was immediately influenced by a change in temperature, with a Q10 of 1.5 to 2.0 at temperatures between 0.3 and 21.5° C. The sodium influx rate is apparently influenced in the same way.
2. The sodium uptake mechanism in G. pulex from three localities was half-saturated at an external concentration of 0.10-0.15 mM/l. sodium.
3. The total sodium loss rate remained approximately constant in animals acclimatized to the range of external concentrations from 2 to about 0.2 mM/l. sodium. 18% of the sodium was lost in urine with a sodium concentration estimated at 30-50 mM/l. The remainder of the sodium loss was due to diffusion across the body surface.
4. In animals acclimatized to concentrations below about 0.2 mM/l. sodium the sodium loss rate was reduced, due to (a) a lower diffusion rate following a fall in the blood sodium concentration, and (b) the elaboration of a more dilute urine.
5. There was a very close association between changes in the blood sodium concentration, the elaboration of a very dilute urine, and the rate of sodium uptake at the body surface. The results indicate that a fall in the blood sodium concentration leads to simultaneous activation of the sodium uptake mechanisms at the body surface and in the antennary glands.
6. It is estimated that, by producing a dilute urine, total sodium uptake in G. pulex is shared equally between the renal uptake mechanism and the mechanism situated at the body surface.
7. In sea-water media G. pulex drinks and expels fluid from the gut. In a medium slightly hyperosmotic to the normal blood concentration the amount imbibed was equal to the normal rate of urine flow when in fresh water.