Physiological plasticity of cardiorespiratory function in a eurythermal marine teleost, the longjaw mudsucker, Gillichthys mirabilis.
An insufficient supply of oxygen under thermal stress is thought to define thermal optima and tolerance limits in teleost fish. When under thermal stress, cardiac function plays a crucial role in sustaining adequate oxygen supply for respiring tissues. Thus, adaptive phenotypic plasticity of cardiac performance may be critical for modifying thermal limits during temperature acclimation. Here we investigated effects of temperature acclimation on oxygen consumption, cardiac function and blood oxygen carrying capacity of a eurythermal goby fish, Gillichthys mirabilis, acclimated to 9, 19 and 26°C for 4 weeks. Acclimation did not alter resting metabolic rates or heart rates; no compensation of rates was observed at acclimation temperatures. However, under an acute heat ramp, warm-acclimated fish exhibited greater heat tolerance (CTmax=33.3, 37.1 and 38.9°C for 9°C-, 19°C- and 26°C-acclimated fish, respectively) and higher cardiac arrhythmia temperatures compared with 9°C-acclimated fish. Heart rates measured under an acute heat stress every week during 28 days of acclimation suggested that both maximum heart rates and temperature at onset of maximum heart rates changed over time with acclimation. Hemoglobin levels increased with acclimation temperature, from 35 g l(-1) in 9°C-acclimated fish to 60-80 g l(-1) in 19°C- and 26°C-acclimated fish. Oxygen consumption rates during recovery from acute heat stress showed post-stress elevation in 26°C-acclimated fish. These data, coupled with elevated resting metabolic rates and heart rates at warm temperatures, suggest a high energetic cost associated with warm acclimation in G. mirabilis. Furthermore, acclimatory capacity appears to be optimized at 19°C, a temperature shown by behavioral studies to be close to the species' preferred temperature.
Jayasundara, N; Somero, GN
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)