THE EFFECT OF TEMPERATURE ON LARVAL FISHES by J. H. S. BLAXTER (Scottish Marine Biological Association, Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory, P.O. Box 3, Oban, Argyll PA34 4AD, Scotland) ABSTRACT The influence of temperature on fish eggs and larvae is briefly described from an autecological viewpoint. Temperature may have lethal or sub-lethal effects as well as pacing metabolism, other physiological responses and behaviour. It influences body size, growth, differentiation of muscle and meristic characters. Increase of temperature, as would occur with global warming, will change the timing of ecological events such as the spring plankton outburst so influencing the match or mismatch of larvae with their food supply and their predators. KEY WORDS: temperature, larval fish. INTRODUCTION The prospects of global warming over the next decades have re- awakened the interest of physiologists in temperature in the hope of predicting what effect a rise of temperature of a few degrees Celsius might have on the biotope. Aquatic poikilothermal animals, especially in large lakes or in the sea, are buffered against short-term and even seasonal changes of temperature and are consequently more stenother- mal - and therefore potentially more vulnerable - than their terrestrial counterparts. Estimates of the extent of global
Netherlands Journal of Zoology (in 2003 continued as Animal Biology) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1991
Keywords: temperature; larval fish
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