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Thermal effects on swimming activity and habitat choice in juvenile Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus)
Ottmar, M.L.; Hurst, T.P. (2012). Thermal effects on swimming activity and habitat choice in juvenile Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 159(10): 2185-2194. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-012-2004-8
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Ottmar, M.L.
  • Hurst, T.P.

Abstract
    The behavioral responses of fishes to temperature variation have received less attention than physiological responses, despite their direct implications for predator–prey dynamics in aquatic ecosystems. In this paper, we describe the temperature dependence of swimming performance and behavioral characteristics of juvenile Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus; 75–125 mm total length). Maximum swimming speeds increased with temperature and body size. Routine swimming speeds of Pacific cod in small groups of similarly sized fish (N = 6) increased with body size and were 34 % faster at 9 °C than at 2 °C. The response to temperature was opposite that previously described for juvenile walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma), reflecting species-specific differences in behavioral responses. In a separate experiment, we demonstrated the effect of temperature on habitat selection of juvenile Pacific cod: Use of an artificial eelgrass patch in a 5-m-long laboratory tank was significantly greater at 9 °C than at 2 °C. These results illustrate that temperature affects a range of behavioral traits that play important roles in determining the frequency and outcomes of predator–prey interactions.

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