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Marine Biology

, Volume 160, Issue 10, pp 2663–2670 | Cite as

Physiological and behavioral responses of temperate seahorses (Hippocampus guttulatus) to environmental warming

  • Maria Aurélio
  • Filipa Faleiro
  • Vanessa M. Lopes
  • Vanessa Pires
  • Ana Rita Lopes
  • Marta S. Pimentel
  • Tiago Repolho
  • Miguel Baptista
  • Luís Narciso
  • Rui RosaEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to evaluate, for the first time, the effect of environmental warming on the metabolic and behavioral ecology of a temperate seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus. More specifically, we compared routine metabolic rates, thermal sensitivity, ventilation rates, food intake, and behavioral patterns at average spring temperature (18 °C), average summer temperature (26 °C), temperatures that they endure during summer heat wave events (28 °C), and in a near-future warming scenario (+2; 30 °C) in Sado estuary, Portugal. Both newborn juveniles and adults showed significant increases in metabolic rates with rising temperatures. However, newborns were more impacted by future warming via metabolic depression (i.e., heat-induced hipometabolism). In adult stages, ventilation rates also increased significantly with environmental warming, but food intake remained unchanged. Moreover, the frequency of swimming, foraging, swinging, and inactivity did not significantly change between the different thermal scenarios. Thus, we provide evidence that, while adult seahorses show great resilience to heat stress and are not expected to go through any physiological impairment and behavioral change with the projected near-future warming, the early stages display greater thermal sensitivity and may face greater metabolic challenges with potential cascading consequences for their growth and survival.

Keywords

Oxygen Consumption Rate Ventilation Rate Ocean Warming Routine Metabolic Rate Temperature Scenario 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) supported this study through project grant PTDC/MAR/0908066/2008 to R. Rosa.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Aurélio
    • 1
  • Filipa Faleiro
    • 1
  • Vanessa M. Lopes
    • 1
  • Vanessa Pires
    • 1
  • Ana Rita Lopes
    • 1
  • Marta S. Pimentel
    • 1
  • Tiago Repolho
    • 1
  • Miguel Baptista
    • 1
  • Luís Narciso
    • 1
  • Rui Rosa
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratório Marítimo da Guia, Centro de OceanografiaFaculdade de Ciências da Universidade de LisboaCascaisPortugal

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