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Air breathing minimizes post-exercise lactate load in the tropical Pacific tarpon, Megalops cyprinoides Broussonet 1782 but oxygen debt is repaid by aquatic breathing

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Swimming in a flume at reduced water pO2 resulted in muscle and blood lactate levels in Pacific tarpon Megalops cyprinoides that were significantly higher when fish did not have access to air. Blood glucose and haematological variables were unchanged throughout the regimes of exercise at two swimming speeds and hypoxia. Strenuous exercise with bouts of burst swimming, however, resulted in both high blood lactate and glucose, and perturbed haematological status with elevated haemoglobin and reduced mean cell-haemoglobin concentration. Post-exercise recovery was achieved through aquatic breathing rather than by air breathing. The air-breathing organ in Pacific tarpon therefore prolonged aerobic activity, but gill breathing was used to repay oxygen debt.

Keywords: air breathing; exercise; haematology; hypoxia; lactate

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia 2: Environmental Biology, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide 5005, Australia 3: School of Science, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory 0909, Australia 4: Department of Zoology and Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada

Publication date: December 1, 2007


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