Physiological plasticity to water flow habitat in the damselfish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus: linking phenotype to performance

Binning, Sandra A; Ros, Albert F H; Nusbaumer, David; Roche, Dominique G; Ros, Albert Frank (2015). Physiological plasticity to water flow habitat in the damselfish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus: linking phenotype to performance. PLoS ONE, 10(3), e0121983. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0121983

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The relationships among animal form, function and performance are complex, and vary across environments. Therefore, it can be difficult to identify morphological and/or physiological traits responsible for enhancing performance in a given habitat. In fishes, differences in swimming performance across water flow gradients are related to morphological variation among and within species. However, physiological traits related to performance have been less well studied. We experimentally reared juvenile damselfish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus, under different water flow regimes to test 1) whether aspects of swimming physiology and morphology show plastic responses to water flow, 2) whether trait divergence correlates with swimming performance and 3) whether flow environment relates to performance differences observed in wild fish. We found that maximum metabolic rate, aerobic scope and blood haematocrit were higher in wave-reared fish compared to fish reared in low water flow. However, pectoral fin shape, which tends to correlate with sustained swimming performance, did not differ between rearing treatments or collection sites. Maximum metabolic rate was the best overall predictor of individual swimming performance; fin shape and fish total length were 3.3 and 3.7 times less likely than maximum metabolic rate to explain differences in critical swimming speed. Performance differences induced in fish reared in different flow environments were less pronounced than in wild fish but similar in direction. Our results suggest that exposure to water motion induces plastic physiological changes which enhance swimming performance in A. polyacanthus. Thus, functional relationships between fish morphology and performance across flow habitats should also consider differences in physiology.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Center for Fish and Wildlife Health (FIWI)

UniBE Contributor:

Ros, Albert Frank

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

1932-6203

Publisher:

Public Library of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Lucia Gugger-Raaflaub

Date Deposited:

22 Mar 2016 10:49

Last Modified:

28 Nov 2020 02:26

Publisher DOI:

10.1371/journal.pone.0121983

PubMed ID:

25807560

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.79787

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/79787

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