Thermal physiology of the common eelpout (Zoarces viviparus)

Journal of Comparative Physiology. B, Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
M V ZakhartsevRonny Blust


We investigated the temperature dependence of some physiological parameters of common eelpout (Zoarces viviparus) from different locations (North Sea, Baltic Sea and Norwegian Sea) on acclimation temperature (3 degrees C and 12 degrees C) and acute temperature variation. The lethal limit of 12 degrees C-acclimated eelpout was determined as the critical thermal maximum [loss of equilibrium (LE) and onset of muscular spasms (OS)] and it was found to be 26.6 degrees C for LE and 28.8 degrees C for OS for all populations. However, these parameters do not have any relevant ecological interpretation. We therefore investigated the effect of gradually increased water temperature on standard metabolic rate (measured as resting oxygen consumption Mo2) and critical oxygen concentration ([O2]c) of eelpouts. Acclimation to low temperature (3 degrees C) resulted in partial compensation of Mo2, paralleled by a decrease of activation energy for Mo2 (from 82 kJ mol(-1) at 12 degrees C to about 50 kJ mol(-1) at 3 degrees C) in North Sea and Baltic Sea eelpouts. At the same time, Norwegian eelpout showed no acclimation of oxygen demand to warm temperature (12 degrees C) at all. The scope for eelpout aerobic metabolism shrank considerably with inc...Continue Reading


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