The environmental tolerances and metabolic physiology of sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria).


Department of Ocean Sciences, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL A1C 5S7, Canada. Electronic address: [Email]


Given the potential impacts of global warming, such as increases in temperature and the frequency/severity of hypoxia in marine ecosystems, it is important to study the impacts of these environmental challenges on sea-cage reared aquaculture species. This study focuses on the sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria), an emerging aquaculture species that has a unique ecology in the wild. For instance, adults inhabit oxygen minimum zones and cool waters at depths up to 1500 m. Using Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) (~1132 g adults) as a comparative species, we used intermittent-flow respirometry to characterize the tolerance and metabolic response of sablefish (~10 g juveniles and ~675 g adults) to acute increases in temperature (2 °C h-1) and decreases in oxygen level (~10% air saturation h-1). Adult sablefish were much more hypoxia tolerant than adult salmon [O2 level at loss of equilibrium ~5.4% vs. ~24.2% air saturation, respectively]. In addition, sablefish could withstand upper temperatures only slightly lower than salmon [critical thermal maximum (CTmax) ~24.9 °C vs. ~26.2 °C, respectively]. Sablefish juveniles were both less hypoxia and thermally tolerant than adults [critical O2 tension ~18.9% vs. ~15.8% air saturation; CTmax ~22.7 vs. ~24.9 °C, respectively]. Interestingly, many of these differences in environmental tolerance could not be explained by differences in metabolic parameters (aerobic scope or routine metabolic rate). Our findings show that sablefish are tolerant of high temperatures, and very tolerant of hypoxia, traits that are advantageous for an aquaculture species in the era of climate change.


Climate change,Hypoxia,Oxygen,Oxygen and capacity limited thermal tolerance,Temperature,

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