Deakin University

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Experimental manipulations of tissue oxygen supply do not affect warming tolerance of European perch

journal contribution
posted on 2015-08-01, 00:00 authored by J Brijs, F Jutfelt, Timothy ClarkTimothy Clark, A Gräns, A Ekström, E Sandblom
A progressive inability of the cardiorespiratory system to maintain systemic oxygen supply at elevated temperatures has been suggested to reduce aerobic scope and the upper thermal limit of aquatic ectotherms. However, few studies have directly investigated the dependence of thermal limits on oxygen transport capacity. By manipulating oxygen availability (via environmental hyperoxia) and blood oxygen carrying capacity (via experimentally induced anaemia) in European perch (Perca fluviatilis Linneaus), we investigated the effects of oxygen transport capacity on aerobic scope and the critical thermal maximum (CT(max)). Hyperoxia resulted in a twofold increase in aerobic scope at the control temperature of 23°C, but this did not translate to an elevated CT(max) in comparison with control fish (34.6±0.1 versus 34.0±0.5°C, respectively). Anaemia (∼43% reduction in haemoglobin concentration) did not cause a reduction in aerobic scope or CT(max) (33.8±0.3°C) compared with control fish. Additionally, oxygen consumption rates of anaemic perch during thermal ramping increased in a similar exponential manner to that in control fish, highlighting that perch have an impressive capacity to compensate for a substantial reduction in blood oxygen carrying capacity. Taken together, these results indicate that oxygen limitation is not a universal mechanism determining the CT(max) of fishes.



Journal of experimental biology




Pt 15


2448 - 2454


Company of Biologists


Cambridge, Eng.





Publication classification

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

Copyright notice

2015, Company of Biologists