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Ontogenetic changes in temperature preference of Atlantic cod

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Final thermal preferendum (T) experiments were conducted in a horizontal thermal gradient tank from the beginning of August 2001 to mid‐November 2001 using Atlantic cod Gadus morhua from 6·5 to 79·0 cm fork length (LF). The value of T varied significantly (P < 0·005) with LF(T = 7·23–0·054LF), with smaller (younger) fish choosing higher temperatures than larger (older) fish. The preferendum varied from 6·9° C for fish of 6·5 cm to 3·0° C for those of 79·0 cm. Experiments comparing fish positions in the gradient tank between thermal gradients of 0·5–11·0 and 4·5–14·5° C demonstrated that fish positions were determined by temperature selection instead of undesirable tank effects. This study is the first to demonstrate the effect of ontogeny on temperature preferences of a marine fish species.

Keywords: cod; final thermal preferendum; ontogeny; temperature preference; thermal gradient tank

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Pêches et Océans Canada, Institut Maurice-Lamontagne, C.P. 1000, Mont-Joli, Québec, G5H 3Z4, Canada and 2: Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski, Université du Québec à Rimouski, 310 Allée des Ursulines, Rimouski, Québec G5L 3A1, Canada

Publication date: February 1, 2005


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