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Effects of temperature, salinity and body size on routine metabolism of coastal largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides

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Routine metabolism (i.e. standard metabolism plus a low level of activity) of coastal largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides from Mobile‐Tensaw Delta, AL, U.S.A. was examined as a function of temperature (15, 20, 25 and 30° C), salinity (0, 4, 8 and 12) and body mass (range 24–886 g) using flow‐through respirometry. Functionally, a cubic relationship best described the effect of salinity on respiration; the magnitude of these effects increased with temperature and body mass. The best model predicted that specific respiration (mg O2 g−1 h−1) at temperatures >20° C was lowest at salinities of 0·0 and 9·7, and elevated at 3·2 and 12·0; salinity had little to no effect at temperatures ≤20° C. Respiration increased exponentially with temperature, but when compared with previously published respiration rates for M. salmoides from northern latitudes, predicted respiration was higher at cool temperatures and lower at high temperatures. The reduced energetic cost near the isosmotic level (i.e. c. 9) may be an adaptive mechanism to tolerate periods of moderate salinity levels and may help explain why M. salmoides do not flee an area in response to increased salinity. Further, these results suggest that salinity has high energetic costs for coastal populations of M. salmoides and may contribute to the observed slow growth and small maximum size within coastal systems relative to inland freshwater populations.

Document Type: Regular Paper


Publication date: 2012-10-01

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