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Ongoing climate change is affecting animal physiology in many parts of the world. Using metabolism, the oxygen- and capacitylimitation of thermal tolerance (OCLTT) hypothesis provides a tool to predict the responses of ectothermic animals to variation in temperature, oxygen availability and pH in the aquatic environment. The hypothesis remains controversial, however, and has been questioned in several studies. A positive relationship between aerobic metabolic scope and animal activity would be consistent with the OCLTT but has rarely been tested. Moreover, the performance model and the allocation model predict positive and negative relationships, respectively, between standard metabolic rate and activity. Finally, animal activity could be affected
by individual morphology because of covariation with cost of transport. Therefore, we hypothesized that individual variation in activity is correlated with variation in metabolism and morphology. To test this prediction, we captured 23 wild European perch (Perca fluviatilis) in a lake, tagged them with telemetry transmitters, measured standard and maximal metabolic rates, aerobic
metabolic scope and fineness ratio and returned the fish to the lake to quantify individual in situ activity levels. Metabolic rates were measured using intermittent flow respirometry, whereas the activity assay involved high-resolution telemetry providing positions every 30 s over 12 days. We found no correlation between individual metabolic traits and activity, whereas individual fineness ratio correlated with activity. Independent of body length, and consistent with physics theory, slender fish maintained faster mean and maximal swimming speeds, but this variation did not result in a larger area (in square metres) explored per 24 h. Testing assumptions and predictions of recent conceptual models, our study indicates that individual metabolism is not a strong determinant of animal activity, in contrast to individual morphology, which is correlated with in situ activity patterns
Original languageEnglish
Article numbercov055
JournalConservation Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

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