1. A quantitative study of sodium influx and loss rates was made on Gammarus duebeni obtained from brackish-water localities. Both influx and loss rates were immediately doubled by a rise in temperature from 10 to 20° C.
2. It is estimated that when animals are fully acclimatized to a series of media decreasing from 50 to 2% sea water the rate of sodium uptake at the body surface is doubled to balance the rate of sodium loss, which is also doubled. The increased loss rate is due equally to an increase in the rate of diffusion across the body surface and to loss in hypotonic urine containing about 160-190 mM/l. sodium. Diffusion losses normally account for at least 35% of the total losses, even when the urine is isotonic with the blood.
3. The sodium-transporting system at the body surface is fully saturated at an external concentration of about 10 mM/l. NaCl (2% sea water). The system has a low affinity for sodium ions and is only half-saturated at 1.5-2.5 mM/l. sodium. The overall rate of uptake is increased to its maximum rate to balance sodium losses when in fresh water.
4. When acclimatized to fresh water (0.25 mM/l. NaCl) the sodium loss rate is greatly reduced. This was partly due to a lower rate of diffusion across the body surface following a fall in the blood sodium concentration, and mainly due to elaboration of a very dilute urine.
5. It is suggested that increases in sodium uptake in the antennary glands, resulting in a hypotonic urine, are linked with increases in uptake at the body surface. Both uptake systems are possibly activated by a single internal regulator responding to changes in the blood concentration.
6. Sodium regulation at concentrations below 10 mM/l. NaCl was examined in G. duebeni obtained from fresh-water streams on the Lizard peninsula, the Kintyre peninsula, and the Isle of Man. The regulation of sodium uptake and loss is very similar to regulation in brackish-water animals, and the sodium-transporting system has the same low affinity for sodium ions at concentrations below about 10 mM/l.
7. It is suggested that fresh-water localities in north-west Europe, excluding Ireland, have been colonized from brackish water without any modifications in the sodium-regulatory mechanism. But the fresh-water animals tolerate very low sodium concentrations better than brackish-water animals. This is apparently due to natural selection of individuals in which the sodium uptake rate is higher than the average uptake rate in brackish-water animals.