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Fatigue is a behavioural response in respirometer‐confined smallmouth bass

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Fatigue in respirometer‐confined smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu was confirmed as being largely a behavioural response, and not brought about by depletion of anaerobic fuel stores. While data collected from these fish did not preclude the possibility that the behavioural response was triggered when some physiological threshold was exceeded, locomotory gait transition patterns in confined fish exposed to increasing water velocities support an alternate hypothesis. This is that fatigue is a behavioural decision made at (or near) the gait transition swimming speed, in an effort to avoid activity that, by virtue of the limited space in a typical respirometer, is energetically inefficient and biomechanically difficult.

Keywords: critical speed; exhaustion; fatigue; gait transition; respirometer

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Canadian Rivers Institute and Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, E3B 6E1, Canada and 2: Department of Zoology and Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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