eCite Digital Repository

Physiological effects of dissolved oxygen are stage-specific in incubating Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)


Wood, AT and Clark, TD and Elliott, NG and Frappell, PB and Andrewartha, SJ, Physiological effects of dissolved oxygen are stage-specific in incubating Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology, 189, (1) pp. 109-120. ISSN 0174-1578 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00360-018-1199-5


Oxygen availability is highly variable during salmonid incubation in natural redds and also in aquaculture incubation systems. Hypoxia generally decreases growth and aerobic metabolism prior to hatching, in parallel with eliciting physiological modifications that enhance oxygen delivery. However, it is less-well known whether developmental hyperoxia can drive the opposite effect. Moreover, there is insufficient understanding of stage-specific developmental windows during which ambient oxygen availability may be of greater or lesser impact to incubating embryos. Here, we tested the effects of hypoxia (50% dissolved oxygen: DO, % air saturation) and hyperoxia (150% DO) on the growth, routine aerobic metabolism (O2rout) and hypoxia tolerance (O2crit) of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) during seven developmental windows throughout incubation. Embryos exposed to hyperoxia (150% DO) did not differ from the normoxic group in growth, O2rout or O2crit at any developmental window. In contrast, embryos exposed to hypoxia grew slower and had a lower O2rout, but had higher hypoxia tolerance (lower O2crit) than normoxic and hyperoxic counterparts. Interestingly, these differences were only apparent when the embryos were measured prior to hatching. Larvae (alevins) incubated in hypoxia following hatching grew similarly to normoxia-incubated alevins. Our results provide evidence that Atlantic salmon embryos are most sensitive to hypoxia prior to hatching, probably due to increasing (absolute) oxygen requirements concurrent with restricted oxygen diffusion through the egg. Moreover, the similarities between normoxia- and hyperoxia-incubated salmon demonstrate that embryos are not oxygen-limited under normoxic conditions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Atlantic salmon, hypoxia, hyperoxia, developmental windows, aerobic metabolism
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Comparative physiology
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - aquaculture
Objective Field:Aquaculture fin fish (excl. tuna)
UTAS Author:Elliott, NG (Dr Nick Elliott)
UTAS Author:Frappell, PB (Professor Peter Frappell)
UTAS Author:Andrewartha, SJ (Dr Sarah Andrewartha)
ID Code:131401
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:Agriculture and Food Systems
Deposited On:2019-03-15
Last Modified:2020-04-03

Repository Staff Only: item control page