Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 49–54 | Cite as

Aquatic surface respiration in the fishes of Panama: distribution in relation to risk of hypoxia

  • Donald L. Kramer


Eighty six species of non-air breathing fish from Panama were tested for aquatic surface respiration (ASR), a behavioral response to extreme hypoxia that involves aquatic respiration at the air-water interface. ASR was well developed in 93% and 72% of species from potentially hypoxic freshwater and marine habitats, respectively, but only 42% of species from consistently well oxygenated marine habitats. This provides evidence that ASR is a specific adaptation to hypoxia and that in fishes of shallow, tropical waters, respiratory responses which maintain oxygen supply are much more widespread than those which eliminate oxygen demand (anaerobic respiration).


Oxygen Behavior Tropical biology 


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Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald L. Kramer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada

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