The role of temperature in controlling diel activity in upstream migrant sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus)

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This study used controlled laboratory conditions to directly assess the role of temperature in controlling diel activity in sexually immature, upstream migrant sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus). Our results identified three separate temperature-induced changes to the normal nocturnal activity pattern of lampreys: (i) at low temperature (7°C), lampreys became inactive; (ii) at high temperatures (≥20°C), the normal nocturnal peak in activity was reduced and lampreys became active during the day; and (iii) rapid increases in temperature (7 or 8°C over 4h) stimulated transient daytime activity that subsided once temperature stabilized. In addition, we found evidence that temperature directly influences other aspects of sea lampreys behaviour, specifically light avoidance and rheotaxis. We propose that temperature-induced changes in diel activity represent adaptive behaviour, increasing the probability of lampreys reaching the spawning grounds within the narrow thermal range for successful embryonic development.

Notre étude évalue dans des conditions contrôlées de laboratoire le rôle de la température dans la détermination de l’activité journalière chez des grandes lamproies marines (Petromyzon marinus) sexuellement immatures durant leur migration vers l’amont. Nous avons découvert trois changements différents induits par la température dans le patron normal d’activité nocturne des lamproies: (i) les lamproies deviennent inactives à basse température (7 °C), (ii) aux températures élevées (≥20 °C), il y a réduction du pic normal d’activité nocturne et les lamproies s’activent durant la journée et (iii) des accroissements rapides de température (7 ou 8 °C en 4 h) stimulent une activité transitoire durant la journée qui disparaît une fois la température stabilisée. De plus, il y des indications que la température influence directement certains autres aspects du comportement des grandes lamproies marines, en particulier l’évitement de la lumière et le rhéotactisme. Nous croyons que les changements dans l’activité journalière induits par la température représentent des comportements adaptatifs qui augmentent la probabilité que les lamproies atteignent les sites de fraie dans le cadre restreint des conditions thermiques qui permettent le succès du développement embryonnaire.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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