Acclimation temperature alters the relationship between growth and swimming performance among juvenile common carp (Cyprinus carpio)

Research paper by Xu Pang, Shi-Jian Fu, Yao-Guang Zhang

Indexed on: 14 Jun '16Published on: 13 Jun '16Published in: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology


Individual variation in growth, metabolism and swimming performance, their possible interrelationships, and the effects of temperature were investigated in 30 juvenile common carp (Cyprinus carpio) at two acclimation temperatures (15 and 25 °C). We measured body mass, critical swimming speed (Ucrit), resting metabolic rate (RMR), active metabolic rate (AMR) and metabolic scope (MS) twice (28 days apart) in both temperature groups. Fish acclimated to 25 °C showed a 204% higher specific growth rate (SGR) than those acclimated to 15 °C due to a 97% higher feeding rate (FR) and a 46% higher feed efficiency (FE). Among individuals, SGR was positively correlated with the FR and FE at both low and high temperatures. All measured variables (Ucrit, RMR and AMR) related to swimming except MS showed a high repeatability after adjusting for body mass (mass-independent). Fish acclimated to 25 °C had a 40% higher Ucrit compared with 15 °C acclimated fish, which was at least partially due to an improved metabolic capacity. AMR showed a 97% increase, and MS showed a 104% parallel increase with the higher acclimation temperature. Residual (mass-independent) Ucrit was positively correlated with residual RMR, AMR and MS, except for the residual RMR at high temperature. When acclimated to the lower temperature, both the residual and absolute Ucrit were negatively correlated with FR and FE and, hence, with SGR, suggesting a functional trade-off between growth and locomotion in fish acclimated to low temperatures. However, when acclimated to the higher temperature, this trade-off no longer existed; absolute Ucrit was positively correlated with SGR because individuals with rapid growth exhibited greatly increased body mass. The higher metabolic capacity at 25 °C showed a positive effect on both swimming performance and growth rate (because of improved digestive efficiency) under the high-temperature condition, which we did not anticipate. Overall, these results indicate that temperature alters the relationship between growth and swimming performance of juvenile common carp. This change may be an adaptive strategy to seasonal temperature variation during their life history.

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