|The hypoxia avoidance behaviour of juvenile Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.) depends on the provision and pressure level of an O2 refuge|Herbert, N.A.; Skjaeraasen, J.E.; Nilsen, T.; Salvanes, A.G.V.; Steffensen, J.F. (2011). The hypoxia avoidance behaviour of juvenile Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.) depends on the provision and pressure level of an O2 refuge. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(4): 737-746. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-010-1601-7
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
|Authors|| || Top |
- Herbert, N.A.
- Skjaeraasen, J.E.
- Nilsen, T.
- Salvanes, A.G.V.
- Steffensen, J.F.
The frequency of low O2 (hypoxia) has increased in coastal marine areas but how fish avoid deleterious water masses is not yet clear. To assess whether the presence and oxygen pressure (PO2) level of an O2 refuge affects the hypoxia avoidance behaviour of fish, individual Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.) were exposed to a range of O2 choices in a 2-way choice chamber at 11.4°C over two different experiments. Cod in the first experiment were allowed access to a fixed O2 refuge (fully air-saturated seawater) whilst oxygen pressure (PO2) on the other side was reduced in steps to a critically low level, i.e. 4.3 kPa—a point where cod can no longer regulate O2 consumption. Under these conditions, cod did not avoid any level of hypoxia and fish swimming speed also remained unchanged. In contrast, strong avoidance reactions were exhibited in a second experiment when fish were again exposed to 4.3 kPa but the safety, i.e. PO2, of the refuge was reduced. Fish not only spent less time at 4.3 kPa as a result of fewer sampling visits but they also swam at considerably slower speeds. The presence of an avoidance response was thus strongly related to refuge PO2 and it is unlikely that cod, and possibly other fish species, would enter low O2 to feed in the wild if a sufficiently safe O2 refuge was not available. It is therefore hypothesized that the feeding range of fish may be heavily compressed if hypoxia expands and intensifies in future years.