Indexed on: 08 May '14Published on: 08 May '14Published in: Journal of Thermal Biology
We measured the following variables to investigate the effects of fasting and temperature on swimming performance in juvenile qingbo (Spinibarbus sinensis): the critical swimming speed (Ucrit), resting metabolic rate (ṀO2rest) and active metabolic rate (ṀO2active) of fish fasting for 0 (control), 1, 2 and 4 weeks at low and high acclimation temperatures (15 and 25°C). Both fasting treatment and temperature acclimation had significant effects on all parameters measured (P<0.05). Fasting at the higher temperature had a negative effect on all measured parameters after 1 week (P<0.05). However, when acclimated to the lower temperature, fasting had a negative effect on Ucrit until week 2 and on (ṀO2rest), (ṀO2active) and metabolic scope (MS, (ṀO2active)-(ṀO2rest)) until week 4 (P<0.05). The values of all parameters at the lower temperature were significantly lower than those at the higher temperature in the identical fasting period groups except for (ṀO2rest) of the fish that fasted for 2 weeks. The relationship between fasting time (T) and Ucrit was described as Ucrit(15)=-0.302T(2)-0.800T+35.877 (r=0.781, n=32, P<0.001) and Ucrit(25)=0.471T(2)-3.781T+50.097 (r=0.766, n=32, P<0.001) at 15 and 25°C, respectively. The swimming performance showed less decrease in the early stage of fasting but more decrease in the later stage at the low temperature compared to the high temperature, which might be related to thermal acclimation time, resting metabolism, respiratory capacity, energy stores, enzyme activity in muscle tissue and energy substrate utilization changes with fasting between low and high temperatures. The divergent response of the swimming performance to fasting in qingbo at different temperatures might be an adaptive strategy to seasonal temperature and food resource variation in their habitat.