The effect of temperature and body size on metabolic scope of activity in juvenile Atlantic cod Gadus morhua L.

Bjørn Tirsgaard, Jane Behrens, John Fleng Steffensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Changes in ambient temperature affect the physiology and metabolism and thus the distribution of fish. In this study we used intermittent flow respirometry to determine the effect of temperature (2, 5, 10, 15 and 20 °C) and wet body mass (BM) (~30–460 g) on standard metabolic rate (SMR, mg O2 h−1), maximum metabolic rate (MMR, mg O2 h−1) and metabolic scope (MS, mg O2 h−1) of juvenile Atlantic cod. SMR increased with BM irrespectively of temperature, resulting in an average scaling exponent of 0.87 (0.82–0.92). Q10 values were
1.8–2.1 at temperatures between 5 and 15 °C but higher (2.6–4.3) between 2 and 5 °C and lower (1.6–1.4) between 15 and 20 °C in 200 and 450 g cod. MMR increased with temperature in the smallest cod (50 g) but in the larger cod MMR plateaued between 10, 15 and 20 °C. This resulted in a negative correlation
between the optimal temperature for MS (Topt) and BM, Topt being respectively 14.5, 11.8 and 10.9 °C in a 50, 200 and 450 g cod. Irrespective of BM cold water temperatures resulted in a reduction (30–35%) of MS whereas the reduction of MS at warm temperatures was only evident for larger fish (200 and 450 g),
caused by plateauing of MMR at 10 °C and above. Warm temperatures thus seem favourable for smaller (50 g) juvenile cod, but not for larger conspecifics (200 and 450 g)
Original languageEnglish
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Pages (from-to)89-94
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this