Limited capacity for developmental thermal acclimation in three tropical wrasses
For effective conservation and management of marine systems, it is essential that we understand the biological impacts of and capacity for acclimation to increased ocean temperatures. This study investigated for the first time the effects of developing in projected warmer ocean conditions in the tropical wrasse species: Halichoeres melanurus, Halichoeres miniatus and Thalassoma amblycephalum. New recruits were reared for 11 weeks in control (29 °C) and +2 °C (31 °C) temperature treatments, consistent with predicted increases in sea surface temperature by 2100. A broad range of key attributes and performance parameters was tested, including aerobic metabolism, swimming ability, burst escape performance and physical condition. Response latency of burst performance was the only performance parameter in which evidence of beneficial thermal developmental acclimation was found, observed only in H. melanurus. Generally, development in the +2 °C treatment came at a significant cost to all species, resulting in reduced growth and physical condition, as well as metabolic and swimming performance relative to controls. Development in +2 °C conditions exacerbated the effects of warming on aerobic metabolism and swimming ability, compared to short-term warming effects. Burst escape performance parameters were only mildly affected by development at +2 °C, with non-locomotor performance (response latency) showing greater thermal sensitivity than locomotor performance parameters. These results indicate that the effects of future climate change on tropical wrasses would be underestimated with short-term testing. This study highlights the importance of holistic, longer-term developmental experimental approaches, with warming found to yield significant, species-specific responses in all parameters tested.
KeywordsClimate change Thermal sensitivity Plasticity Swimming Burst escape performance Metabolism
We thank staff at the JCU aquarium facility for technical assistance, and volunteers D. Rowen, R. Streit and D. Warren for their help during the project. Thanks to P.L. Munday for guidance and feedback throughout, and to the two reviewers, whose insightful and thorough comments helped to improve the manuscript. Funding was provided by the Ian Potter Foundation (JMD) and University of Technology Sydney (JMD). This research was conducted under JCU ethics approval A1990.
- Brett JR (1964) The respiratory metabolism and swimming performance of young sockeye salmon. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 21:1183–1226Google Scholar
- Gräns A, Jutfelt F, Sandblom E, Jönsson E, Wiklander K, Seth H, Olsson C, Dupont S, Ortega-Martinez O, Einarsdottir I (2014) Aerobic scope fails to explain the detrimental effects on growth resulting from warming and elevated CO2 in Atlantic halibut. J Exp Biol 217:711–717CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hubble M (2003) The ecological significance of body size in tropical wrasses (Pisces: Labridae). Ph.D. thesis, James Cook University, TownsvilleGoogle Scholar
- IPCC (2014) Climate change 2014: synthesis report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Pachauri RK, Allen MR, Barros VR, Broome J, Cramer W, Christ R, Church JA, Clarke L, Dahe Q, Dasgupta P, Dubash NK (eds). IPCC, Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
- Moyes C, Schulte P, West T (1993) Burst exercise recovery metabolism in fish white muscle. In: Hochachka P, Lutz P, Sick T, Rosenthal M, van den Thillart G (eds) Surviving hypoxia: mechanisms of control and adaptation. CRC Press, Florida, pp 527–539Google Scholar
- Poloczanska ES, Brown CJ, Sydeman WJ, Kiessling W, Schoeman DS, Moore PJ, Brander K, Bruno JF, Buckley LB, Burrows MT, Duarte CM, Halpern BS, Holding J, Kappel CV, O’Connor MI, Pandolfi JM, Parmesan C, Schwing F, Thompson SA, Richardson AJ (2013) Global imprint of climate change on marine life. Nat Clim Chang 3:919–925CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Randall JE, Allen GR, Steene RC (1997) Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. University of Hawaii Press, HonoluluGoogle Scholar
- Westneat M (2001) Labridae. Wrasses, hogfishes, razorfishes, corises, tuskfishes. In: Carpenter KE, Niem V (eds) FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO, Rome, pp 3381–3467Google Scholar