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Aquatic Biology

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AB 14:77-86 (2011)  -  DOI:

Tolerance and response of silver perch Bairdiella chrysoura to hypoxia

Marc H. Hanke1,2,*, Kelly J. Smith1

1University of North Florida, Department of Biology, 1 UNF Dr., Jacksonville, Florida 32224, USA
2Present address: Department of Biology and Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 601 S. College Road, Wilmington, North Carolina 28403, USA

ABSTRACT: Silver perch Bairdiella chrysoura are an abundant and ecologically important species that are exposed to major hypoxic events throughout much of their range. Acute sensitivity tests (24 h) were conducted, and the lethal concentration of low dissolved oxygen (DO) determined for B. chrysoura (mean ± SE) 32.5 ± 4.0 mm standard length (SL) at 1.10 mg l−1 (95% CI, 0.43−1.52 mg l−1). The avoidance by B. chrysoura to low DO was tested based on size class (mm SL): ≤25, between 26−50, 51−75, and ≥76, with normal DO concentrations (control) throughout a partitioned aquarium, and later, with an oxygen gradient from low DO (<1 mg l−1) up to high DO (>5 mg l−1). There was a significant difference between the expected and observed distribution for the 3 smaller size classes towards higher DO levels, while the largest size class showed no significant difference in distribution and a G-test showed that oxygen choice levels were significantly different between size classes. The 3 largest size classes of B. chrysoura were tested in a swimming speed apparatus under 3 current speeds (0.17, 0.25, and 0.36 m s−1) with both high DO and low DO concentrations. A 3-way ANOVA showed that there was a significant increase in swimming capacity with increasing fish size, decreasing current speed, and increased DO, as well as a significant interaction between all 3 variables. This is one of the first studies to examine size‑related responses to low DO in a sciaenid fish.

KEY WORDS: Silver perch · Hypoxia · Low DO tolerance · Avoidance · Swimming capacity · Size class

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Cite this article as: Hanke MH, Smith KJ (2011) Tolerance and response of silver perch Bairdiella chrysoura to hypoxia. Aquat Biol 14:77-86.

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