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Open AccessArticle

Intra-Specific Difference in the Effect of Salinity on Physiological Performance in European Perch (Perca fluviatilis) and Its Ecological Importance for Fish in Estuaries

1
Marine Biological Section, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Strandpromenaden 5, 3000 Elsinore, Denmark
2
Department of Marine Ecosystems and Society, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149, USA
3
Department of Marine Biology and Ecology, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biology 2019, 8(4), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology8040089
Received: 8 October 2019 / Revised: 13 November 2019 / Accepted: 14 November 2019 / Published: 17 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fish Metabolic Physiology in Response to Stress)
Changes in environmental salinity challenge fish homeostasis and may affect physiological performance, such as swimming capacity and metabolism, which are important for foraging, migration, and escaping predators in the wild. The effects of salinity stress on physiological performance are largely species specific, but may also depend on intra-specific differences in physiological capabilities of sub-populations. We measured critical swimming speed (Ucrit) and metabolic rates during swimming and at rest at salinities of 0 and 10 in European perch (Perca fluviatilis) from a low salinity tolerance population (LSTP) and a high salinity tolerance population (HSTP). Ucrit of LSTP was significantly reduced at a salinity of 10 yet was unaffected by salinity change in HSTP. We did not detect a significant cost of osmoregulation, which should theoretically be apparent from the metabolic rates during swimming and at rest at a salinity of 0 compared to at a salinity of 10 (iso-osmotic). Maximum metabolic rates were also not affected by salinity, indicating a modest tradeoff between respiration and osmoregulation (osmo-respiratory compromise). Intra-specific differences in effects of salinity on physiological performance are important for fish species to maintain ecological compatibility in estuarine environments, yet render these sub-populations vulnerable to fisheries. The findings of the present study are therefore valuable knowledge in conservation and management of estuarine fish populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: cost of osmoregulation; critical swimming speed; maximum metabolic rate; oxygen consumption rate; standard metabolic rate; static respirometry; swimming respirometry cost of osmoregulation; critical swimming speed; maximum metabolic rate; oxygen consumption rate; standard metabolic rate; static respirometry; swimming respirometry
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Christensen, E.A.F.; Stieglitz, J.D.; Grosell, M.; Steffensen, J.F. Intra-Specific Difference in the Effect of Salinity on Physiological Performance in European Perch (Perca fluviatilis) and Its Ecological Importance for Fish in Estuaries. Biology 2019, 8, 89.

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