Chronic warm exposure impairs growth performance and reduces thermal safety margins in the common triplefin fish (Forsterygion lapillum )

The Journal of Experimental Biology
Tristan J McArleyN A Herbert


Intertidal fish species face gradual chronic changes in temperature and greater extremes of acute thermal exposure through climate-induced warming. As sea temperatures rise, it has been proposed that whole-animal performance will be impaired through oxygen and capacity limited thermal tolerance [OCLTT; reduced aerobic metabolic scope (MS)] and, on acute exposure to high temperatures, thermal safety margins may be reduced because of constrained acclimation capacity of upper thermal limits. Using the New Zealand triplefin fish (Forsterygion lapillum), this study addressed how performance in terms of growth and metabolism (MS) and upper thermal tolerance limits would be affected by chronic exposure to elevated temperature. Growth was measured in fish acclimated (12 weeks) to present and predicted future temperatures and metabolic rates were then determined in fish at acclimation temperatures and with acute thermal ramping. In agreement with the OCLTT hypothesis, chronic exposure to elevated temperature significantly reduced growth performance and MS. However, despite the prospect of impaired growth performance under warmer future summertime conditions, an annual growth model revealed that elevated temperatures may only shift the t...Continue Reading


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