, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 71–76 | Cite as

Spatial variation and temporal stability of littoral water temperature relative to lakeshore morphometry: environmental analysis from the view of fish thermal ecology

  • Hiroki Yamanaka
  • Yukihiro Kohmatsu
  • Toshifumi Minamoto
  • Zen’ichiro Kawabata


Lakeshore developments change the physicochemical properties of the underwater environment by altering shore morphometry, which may have significant effects on spatial variation and temporal stability in water temperature. Spatiotemporal temperature changes are costly to fish in terms of subsequent thermoregulatory behavior and acclimation; therefore, thermal conditions have a heavy impact on the biological function of fishes. Spatiotemporal variation and stability of water temperatures along cross-shore transects in the littoral zone (within 100 m from shore) were monitored and compared on two lakeshores with different cross-shore depth profiles. One shore was associated with a retaining wall and a relatively deep, flat bottom (steep shore), whereas the other extended offshore at a gentle gradient (gentle shore). Water temperature was more spatially variable on the gentle shore than the steep shore [1.44 ± 0.47 and 0.20 ± 0.14°C (mean ± SD), respectively], but a stable temperature range (i.e., the range of temperatures continuously observed on each shore for 48 h) was maintained only on the gentle shore during seasonal temperature decline. These results suggest that gentle shores have higher potential to provide a wider range of thermal options, allowing fish to fine-tune thermoregulatory behavior and acclimate more efficiently to temperature changes.


Lakeshore morphometry Temperature stability Temperature variation Behavioral thermoregulation Temperature acclimation 



We express our gratitude to the members of the Moriyama fishermen’s union, Shiga, Japan, for permitting us to conduct our observations in their fishery and for their assistance with the field surveys. We thank the members of the Environmental Disease Project (C-06 research project) at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) for their assistance. This work was supported by the RIHN C-06 project.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Limnology 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroki Yamanaka
    • 1
  • Yukihiro Kohmatsu
    • 1
  • Toshifumi Minamoto
    • 1
  • Zen’ichiro Kawabata
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Institute for Humanity and NatureKyotoJapan

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