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Comparative studies on the metabolism of shallow-water and deep-sea marine fishes. I. White-muscle metabolism in shallow-water fishes

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Maximal rates of oxygen consumption in vitro have been measured under standardized conditions at three test temperatures (5°, 15°, and 25°C) on minced preparations of white muscle from 39 species of shallow-water marine teleost fishes. These fishes came from four different geographic areas, two with cool average water-temperatures (near 15°C: coastal southern California, Galápagos Islands) and two with warm average water-temperatures (near 25°C: Hawaiian Islands; Bermuda). The group includes species covering much of the range of variation to be found among the teleosts with respect to five additional variables: phylogenetic position, type of environment, body weight, activity level, and growth stage. The purpose of the work is to provide part of a base line of tissue-metabolism data on shallow-water fishes for comparison with similar results from deep-sea species. Major conclusions from statistical analyses of the results are: four groups of shapes of oxygen-uptake rate versus temperature curves exist: normal, flat, dipped and peaked. Over 50% of curves are normal. Intra-group differences, contributing significantly to the total variance of the results at given test temperatures, are: cool versus warm average environmental temperatures primarily for epipelagic species; epipelagic versus non-epipelagic environments; very active species versus all others; juvenile stages versus adults. In each case, the subgroup first mentioned shows higher muscle oxygen-uptake rates than the other subgroup. Variables not contributing significantly to the total variance are phylogenetic position and body weight. Physiological and ecological implications of these results are discussed.

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Communicated by J. Bunt, Miami

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Gordon, M.S. Comparative studies on the metabolism of shallow-water and deep-sea marine fishes. I. White-muscle metabolism in shallow-water fishes. Mar. Biol. 13, 222–237 (1972). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00391380

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  • Test Temperature
  • Marine Fish
  • Phylogenetic Position
  • Juvenile Stage
  • Teleost Fish