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Behavioral and physiological responses of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) to moderate hypoxia.

Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology (2017-04-25)
L Zoe Almeida, Samuel C Guffey, Maria S Sepúlveda, Tomas O Höök
ABSTRACT

While severe hypoxia can be lethal and is usually avoided by mobile aquatic organisms, moderate hypoxic conditions are likely more prevalent and may affect organisms, such as fishes, in a variety of systems. However, fishes have the potential to adjust physiologically and behaviorally and thus reduce the negative effects of hypoxia. Quantifying such physiological responses may shed light on the ability of fishes to tolerate reduced oxygen concentrations. This study assessed how two different hatchery populations of yellow perch Perca flavescens, a fish that is likely to encounter moderate hypoxic conditions in a variety of systems, responded to moderate hypoxic exposure through three experiments: 1) a behavioral foraging experiment, 2) an acute exposure experiment, and 3) a chronic exposure experiment. No marked behavioral or physiological adjustments were observed in response to hypoxia (e.g., hemoglobin, feeding rate, movement frequency, gene expression did not change to a significant degree), possibly indicating a high tolerance level in this species. This may allow yellow perch to utilize areas of moderate hypoxia to continue foraging while avoiding predators that may be more sensitive to moderately low oxygen.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Drabkin′s reagent, for the determination of hemoglobin