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Aerobic scope does not predict the performance of a tropical eurythermal fish at elevated temperatures


Norin, T and Malte, H and Clark, TD, Aerobic scope does not predict the performance of a tropical eurythermal fish at elevated temperatures, Journal of Experimental Biology, 217, (part 2) pp. 244-251. ISSN 0022-0949 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1242/jeb.089755


Climate warming is predicted to negatively impact fish populations through impairment of oxygen transport systems when temperatures exceed those which are optimal for aerobic scope (AS). This concept of oxygen- and capacity-limited thermal tolerance (OCLTT) is rapidly gaining popularity within climate change research and has been applied to several fish species. Here, we evaluated the relevance of aerobic performance of juvenile barramundi (Lates calcarifer) in the context of thermal preference and tolerance by (1) measuring standard and maximum metabolic rates (SMR and MMR, respectively) and AS of fish acclimated to 29C and acutely exposed to temperatures from 23 to 38C, (2) allowing the fish to behaviourally select a preferred temperature between 29 and 38C, and (3) quantifying alterations to AS after 5 weeks of acclimation to 29 and 38C. SMR and MMR both increased continuously with temperature in acutely exposed fish, but the increase was greater for MMR such that AS was highest at 38C, a temperature approaching the upper lethal limit (40-41C). Despite 38C eliciting maximum AS, when given the opportunity the fish selected a median temperature of 31.7 0.5C and spent only 10 3% of their time at temperatures >36C. Following acclimation to 38C, AS measured at 38C was decreased to the same level as 29C-acclimated fish measured at 29C, suggesting that AS may be dynamically modulated independent of temperature to accommodate the requirements of daily life. Together, these results reveal limited power of the OCLTT hypothesis in predicting optimal temperatures and effects of climate warming on juvenile barramundi.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:barramundi, climate change, Lates calcarifer, metabolic rate, oxygen consumption rate, oxygen- and capacity-limited thermal tolerance (OCLTT)
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Animal behaviour
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Coastal or estuarine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Clark, TD (Dr Timothy Clark)
ID Code:103348
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:181
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-10-06
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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