Fish physiology and biochemistry

Response of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) from different thermal environments to increased water temperature.

PMID 25869216


Due to concerns of global climate change, additional research is needed to quantify the thermal tolerance of species, and how organisms are able to adapt to changes in thermal regime. We quantified the thermal tolerance and thermal stress response of a temperate sportfish from two different thermal environments. One group of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) inhabited thermally enhanced reservoirs (used for power plant cooling), with water temperatures typically 2-5°C warmer than nearby reservoirs. We tested fish for chronic thermal maxima and reaction to an 8°C heat shock using three common physiological indices of stress. We observed no evidence of differences between groups in thermal maxima. We observed no differences in thermal maxima between fish from artificially warmed and natural systems. Our results disagree with research, suggesting differences due to adaptation to different thermal environments. We speculate that behavioral modifications, lack of adequate time for genetic divergence, or the robust genetic plasticity of largemouth bass explain the lack of difference between treatment groups.