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The effect of temperature and acclimation period on repeat swimming performance in cutthroat trout

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Hatchery cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarki clarki were used to examine the effects of 48 h and 3 week temperature acclimation periods on critical swimming speed (Ucrit). The Ucrit was determined for fish at acclimation temperatures of 7, 14 and 18° C using two consecutive ramp‐Ucrit tests in mobile Brett‐type swim tunnels. An additional group was tested at the stock's ambient rearing temperature of 10° C. The length of the temperature acclimation period had no significant effect on either the first or the second Ucrit(Ucrit‐1 and Ucrit‐2, respectively) or on the recovery ratio (the quotient of Ucrit‐2Ucrit‐1−1). As anticipated, there was a significant positive relationship between Ucrit‐1 and temperature (P < 0·01) for both acclimation periods, and an increasing, though non‐significant, trend between Ucrit‐2 and temperature (P = 0·10). Acclimation temperature had no significant effect (P = 0·71) on the recovery ratio. These results indicate that a 48 h acclimation to experimental temperatures within the range of −3 to +8° C of the acclimation temperature may be sufficient in studies of swimming performance with this species. This ability to acclimate rapidly is probably adaptive for cutthroat trout and other species that occupy thermally variable environments.

Keywords: acclimation; critical swimming speed; recovery ratio; salmonid; swimming performance; temperature

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada, 2: Department of Forest Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada and 3: Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada

Publication date: August 1, 2004


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