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Developmental hypoxia has negligible effects on long-term hypoxia tolerance and aerobic metabolism of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)

journal contribution
posted on 2017-07-01, 00:00 authored by A T Wood, Timothy ClarkTimothy Clark, S J Andrewartha, N G Elliott, P B Frappell
Exposure to developmental hypoxia can have long-term impacts on the physiological performance of fish because of irreversible plasticity. Wild and captive-reared Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) can be exposed to hypoxic conditions during development and continue to experience fluctuating oxygen levels as juveniles and adults. Here, we examine whether developmental hypoxia impacts subsequent hypoxia tolerance and aerobic performance of Atlantic salmon. Individuals at 8°C were exposed to 50% (hypoxia) or 100% (normoxia) dissolved oxygen (DO) saturation (as percent of air saturation) from fertilization for ∼100 d (800 degree days) and then raised in normoxic conditions for a further 15 mo. At 18 mo after fertilization, aerobic scope was calculated in normoxia (100% DO) and acute (18 h) hypoxia (50% DO) from the difference between the minimum and maximum oxygen consumption rates ([Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text], respectively) at 10°C. Hypoxia tolerance was determined as the DO at which loss of equilibrium (LOE) occurred in a constantly decreasing DO environment. There was no difference in [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text], or aerobic scope between fish raised in hypoxia or normoxia. There was some evidence that hypoxia tolerance was lower (higher DO at LOE) in hypoxia-raised fish compared with those raised in normoxia, but the magnitude of the effect was small (12.52% DO vs. 11.73% DO at LOE). Acute hypoxia significantly reduced aerobic scope by reducing [Formula: see text], while [Formula: see text] remained unchanged. Interestingly, acute hypoxia uncovered individual-level relationships between DO at LOE and [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text], and aerobic scope. We discuss our findings in the context of developmental trajectories and the role of aerobic performance in hypoxia tolerance.



Physiological and biochemical zoology








494 - 501


The University of Chicago Press


Chicago, Ill.





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, The University of Chicago Press