, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 315-326

Behavior and Physiology of the Redside Dace, Clinostomus elongatus, a Threatened Species in Michigan

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Abstract

The threatened status of redside dace, Clinostomus elongatus, in Michigan inhibits study and management of remnant populations of the species. We present a phenotypic approach to evaluate the use of redside dace from New York as behavioral and physiological models for Michigan populations. We evaluated behavioral similarity by comparing patterns of microhabitat use and physiological similarity by comparing resting routine metabolic rates measured in the field. Variation between sites in available microhabitat made direct comparisons difficult; however, redside dace in Michigan and New York showed a common preference for mid-water positions in the deepest parts of pools under overhanging structure. Field measurements at 10°C showed that Michigan fish had higher metabolic rates than rates predicted for New York fish at the same temperature, though biological significance of this difference is questionable. In laboratory experiments, we measured metabolic rate and upper thermal tolerance in relation to acclimation temperatures of 6–20°C using redside dace collected from four streams in New York. Redside dace showed a significant increase in metabolic rate as acclimation temperature increased (Q10=2.3). Critical thermal maxima (CTM) of New York redside dace also increased with acclimation temperature. Obstacles related to the transferability of habitat use data and variation in physiology due to uncontrolled and unmeasured environmental factors in the field lead us to urge caution when extrapolating behavioral and physiological characteristics between widely-separated populations of a species. Despite these obstacles, we described useful patterns of microhabitat use and provided estimates of physiological tolerances that will assist resource managers in the recovery of Michigan redside dace.