Polar Biology

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 49–54

Oxygen consumption in four species of teleosts from Greenland: no evidence of metabolic cold adaptation

  • J. F. Steffensen
  • P. G. Bushnell
  • H. Schurmann
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/BF00240272

Cite this article as:
Steffensen, J.F., Bushnell, P.G. & Schurmann, H. Polar Biol (1994) 14: 49. doi:10.1007/BF00240272


Standard metabolic rate of Greenland cod or uvak, Gadus ogac, polar cod, Boreogadus saida, Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua, and sculpin, Myxocephalus scorpius, caught in the same geographical area on the west coast of Greenland was measured at 4.5°C, the temperature at which the fish were caught. The present data does not support the Metabolic Cold Adaptation theory in the traditional sense of the standard metabolic rate being 2–4 times higher for Arctic fishes than for temperate species. The standard metabolic rate of the two exclusively Arctic species of teleosts was only 10% and 26% higher, respectively, than the two species that occur in temperate as well as Arctic areas. The critical oxygen tension, with respect to oxygen consumption, of resting uvak was between 50 and 60 mmHg, and the lethal oxygen tension 20–25 mmHg at 4.5°C, which is considerably higher than for Atlantic cod from a temperate area measured at the same temperature.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. F. Steffensen
    • 2
  • P. G. Bushnell
    • 3
  • H. Schurmann
    • 1
  1. 1.The Arctic StationUniversity of CopenhagenQeqertarssuaq/GodhavnGreenland
  2. 2.The Marine Biological Laboratory, University of CopenhagenHelsinørDenmark
  3. 3.Department of ZoologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  4. 4.Department of Biological SciencesIndiana University-South BendSouth BendUSA

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