Oxygen Consumption of Mystus gulio under Combined Stress of Varying Salinity and Temperature
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Changing climate of Sundarban estuaries (UNESCO World Heritage) is a threat to the stasis and distribution of its most fish species. Little is known of the eco-physiology of fish of the Sundarban estuaries so predictions on their stasis and future distribution in altered climate hardly exists. This article is a pioneering attempt towards that by looking at the eco-physiology of the Mystus gulio. Catfish Mystus gulio is widely distributed in the estuaries of Sundarban and in South-East Asia. Length Specific Oxygen Consumption (LOC) of Mystus gulio (sub-adults 3.8 to 5.5 cm) was evaluated in salinity 5 PSU, 10 PSU, 15 PSU, and 20 PSU at 20°C, 24°C, 28°C, and 32°C for an assessment of the combined stress arising from salinity and temperature variability. Hypothesis was, LOC would increase with the steeper gradients of salinity-temperature combinations but it would decease beyond the optimal thermal range of M. gulio. LOC varied significantly between different salinity-temperature combinations and was significantly less at high-salinity-high-temperature. Variability of the amplitudes of the salinity (reported previously that it could be up to 25%) and temperature gradients of the estuaries in Ganges delta has increased in recent decades so high-salinity-high-temperature scenarios cannot be ruled out. We suggest that in such scenario early life stages of fish like Mystus gulio may reduce their movement behaviour and increase the tendency to hide at the bottom of oligohaline sections of an estuary to avoid death from respiratory stress.
KeywordsFish Respirometry Sundarban estuaries Climate change
Thanks to Mr. Samya Karan, Debjit Das for helping in the various stages of the sampling and laboratory processes, and graphic preparations respectively. Thanks to Dr. Amlan Das of the Dept. of Zoology for letting the first author uses his lab as manuscript writing space. First author thanks DST-INSPIRE Faculty Award (Sanction: DST/INSPIRE/04/2016/000036) of Govt. of India for financial support to his fellowship. Thanks to the extramural grants of the Dept. of Science and Technology, Govt. of West Bengal (sanction: (195Sanc.) ST/P/S&T/5G-20/2017) for funding the research expenses of this project. Thanks to the Dept. of Zoology and to the University of Calcutta for administrative supports.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Fish samples were collected and experiments on fish were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Calcutta, India.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declared that they have no conflicts of interest.
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