, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 377-406
Date: 03 Nov 2010

The importance of parentage in assessing temperature effects on fish early life history: a review of the experimental literature

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Abstract

Climate change and human development are altering aquatic thermal regimes, highlighting the need to understand how fish fitness may be impacted across a generational boundary. We reviewed experimental temperature studies investigating the links between parents and progeny, asking questions regarding the taxa studied, broodfish used, offspring traits examined, experimental durations and research motivations. We identified forty-one peer-reviewed articles examining the effects of pre-spawning adult temperature holding on offspring. These studies showed a strong focus on the order Salmoniformes (46% of studies) and aquaculturally driven research (66%). The use of wild broodfish was rare (12%) and the majority of experiments (83%) did not examine offspring consequences beyond hatch. We also identified 56 articles investigating how incubation temperature and parental influences affect embryonic and larval development. We demonstrate that these studies are not common in comparison to the majority of incubation thermal experiments that do not employ controlled parental breeding designs. However, 52 out of 56 studies we reviewed reported maternal, paternal or family identity influenced offspring responses to temperature. In characterizing these studies, Salmoniformes were the most studied order (52%), wild broodfish were more commonly used (55%), aquaculture motivations were less evident (23%), and few studies investigated offspring performance or traits beyond endogenous yolk stages. Overall, we suggest it is beneficial to experimentally examine temperature with consideration to parent-progeny relationships. To broaden our current understanding of intergenerational temperature effects, we recommend an increased focus on wild populations, offspring physiological and performance measures, later offspring development stages, and expanding research in non-salmonid species.