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Physiological constraints to climate warming in fish follow principles of plastic floors and concrete ceilings


Sandblom, E and Clark, TD and Grans, A and Ekstrom, A and Brijs, J and Sundstrom, LF and Odelstrom, A and Adill, A and Aho, T and Jutfelt, F, Physiological constraints to climate warming in fish follow principles of plastic floors and concrete ceilings, Nature Communications, 7 Article 11447. ISSN 2041-1723 (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 the authors Licenced under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1038/ncomms11447


Understanding the resilience of aquatic ectothermic animals to climate warming has been hindered by the absence of experimental systems experiencing warming across relevant timescales (for example, decades). Here, we examine European perch (Perca fluviatilis, L.) from the Biotest enclosure, a unique coastal ecosystem that maintains natural thermal fluctuations but has been warmed by 510C by a nuclear power plant for over three decades. We show that Biotest perch grow faster and display thermally compensated resting cardiorespiratory functions compared with reference perch living at natural temperatures in adjacent waters. However, maximum cardiorespiratory capacities and heat tolerance limits exhibit limited or no thermal compensation when compared with acutely heated reference perch. We propose that while basal energy requirements and resting cardiorespiratory functions (floors) are thermally plastic, maximum capacities and upper critical heat limits (ceilings) are much less flexible and thus will limit the adaptive capacity of fishes in a warming climate.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:physiological constraints, climate warming, fish, European perch
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Animal physiological ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Clark, TD (Dr Timothy Clark)
ID Code:110443
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:136
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2016-07-27
Last Modified:2018-04-13
Downloads:135 View Download Statistics

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