, Volume 157, Issue 6, pp 771-782

Effects of temperature and dissolved oxygen on heart rate, ventilation rate and oxygen consumption of spangled perch,Leiopotherapon unicolor (Günther 1859), (Percoidei, Teraponidae)

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Heart, ventilation and oxygen consumption rates ofLeiopotherapon unicolor were studied at temperatures ranging from 5 to 35°C, and during progressive hypoxia from 100% to 5% oxygen saturation. Biopotentials recorded from the water surrounding the fish corresponded to ventilation movements, and are thought to originate from the ventilatory musculature. Cardio-respiratory responses to temperature and dissolved oxygen follow the typical teleost pattern, with bradycardia, increased ventilation rate and reduced oxygen consumption occurring during hypoxia. However, ventilation rate did not increase at 15°C and below. Ventilation rate showed a slower response to increasing temperature (normoxic Q10=1.39) than heart rate and oxygen consumption (normoxic Q10=2.85 and 2.38).L. unicolor is unable to survive prolonged hypoxia by utilising anaerobic metabolism, but has a large gill surface area which presumably facilitates oxygen uptake in hypoxic environments. Periodic ventilation during normoxia in restingL. unicolor may improve ventilation efficiency by increasing the oxygen diffusion gradient across the gills.