1. Daphnia carinata King, a freshwater cladoceran, occurs in Lake Waihola, a tidal lake with seasonal fluctuations in temperature (4–21 °C), and salinity (30–2000 mg L–1 Cl). We hypothesise that these fluctuations influence the seasonal changes in D. carinata abundance.
2. To test this hypothesis, adults and juveniles were exposed to combinations of temperature and salinity. We measured mortality of adults and juveniles, growth of juveniles over 20 days, and their age at first reproduction.
3. The salinity tolerance of adult D. carinata was temperature-dependent. Juveniles were more sensitive to salinity, but more tolerant of temperature increases.
4. Growth rates were higher at elevated temperatures, but reduced by elevated salinities. The onset of reproduction was earlier at elevated temperatures.
5. We conclude that seasonal changes in temperature and salinity contribute to seasonal population changes of D. carinata.