Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 1279–1287 | Cite as

Effects of temperature and fatigue on the metabolism and swimming capacity of juvenile Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis)

  • Xi Yuan
  • Yi-hong Zhou
  • Ying-ping Huang
  • Wen-tao Guo
  • David Johnson
  • Qing Jiang
  • Jin-jie Jing
  • Zhi-ying Tu


Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis) is a critically endangered species. A flume-type respirometer, with video, was used to conduct two consecutive stepped velocity tests at 10, 15, 20, and 25 °C. Extent of recovery was measured after the 60-min recovery period between trials, and the recovery ratio for critical swimming speed (U crit) averaged 91.88% across temperatures. Temperature (T) effects were determined by comparing U crit, oxygen consumption rate (MO 2), and tail beat frequency (TBF) for each temperature. Results from the two trials were compared to determine the effect of exercise. The U crit occurring at 15 °C in both trials was significantly higher than that at 10 and 25 °C (p < 0.05). The U crit was plotted as a function of T and curve-fitting allowed calculation of the optimal swimming temperature 3.28 BL/s at 15.96 °C (trial 1) and 2.98 BL/s at 15.85 °C (trial 2). In trial 1, MO 2 increased rapidly with U, but then declined sharply as swimming speed approached U crit. In trial 2, MO 2 increased more slowly, but continuously, to U crit. TBF was directly proportional to U and the slope (dTBF/dU) for trial 2 was significantly lower than that for trial 1. The inverse slope (tail beats per body length, TB/BL) is a measure of swimming efficiency and the significant difference in slopes implies that the exercise training provided by trial 1 led to a significant increase in swimming efficiency in trial 2.


Chinese sturgeon Temperature Swimming performance Oxygen consumption 



We are grateful to Prof. Liu Jing-xia for grammar revision, and the two anonymous reviewers provided constructive comments. This research has been supported by the National Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Management (Grant number 2012ZX07104-003-04), Hubei Province Innovation Group Project (Grant number 2015CFA021), National Nature Science Foundation of China (Grant numbers 51309140, 51679126, 51609155), and Hubei Key Laboratory of Three Gorges Project for Conservation of Fishes (Grant number 0704102).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xi Yuan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yi-hong Zhou
    • 2
  • Ying-ping Huang
    • 1
  • Wen-tao Guo
    • 3
  • David Johnson
    • 1
    • 4
  • Qing Jiang
    • 1
  • Jin-jie Jing
    • 1
  • Zhi-ying Tu
    • 1
  1. 1.Engineering Research Center of Eco-environment in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, Ministry of EducationChina Three Gorges UniversityYichangChina
  2. 2.College of Hydraulic & Environmental engineeringChina Three Gorges UniversityYichangChina
  3. 3.Hubei Key Laboratory of Three Gorges Project for Conservation of Fishes, Chinese sturgeon Research InstituteChina Three Gorges CorporationYichangChina
  4. 4.School of Natural Sciences and MathematicsFerrum CollegeFerrumUSA

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