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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 174:67-75 (1998)  -  doi:10.3354/meps174067

Effect of dissolved oxygen on the energy balance and survival of Penaeus setiferus juveniles

Carlos Rosas1,*, Evenor Martinez2, Gabriela Gaxiola1, Roberto Brito3, Eugenio Díaz-Iglesia3, Luis A. Soto4

1Laboratorio de Biología Marina Experimental, Facultad de Ciencias, UNAM, Apdo. Post. 69, Cd del Carmen, Camp. México
2Universidad Autónoma de Nicaragua-León, Nicaragua
3Centro de Investigaciones Marinas, Calle 26, No. 2808, Universidad de la Habana, Miramar, La Habana, Cuba
4Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Circuito Exterior, Cd Universitaria, UNAM, 04510 México DF, Mexico

ABSTRACT: Penaeus setiferus, the white shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico, is an abundant species in the coastal lagoons and estuaries, where it can experience anoxic conditions. This study was designed with the purpose of measuring the effects of dissolved oxygen (DO) on the assimilation of ingested food (AS), by measuring the respiratory rate (R) and the biomass production of P. setiferus during its growth (P) process (AS = R + P). Postlarvae of this species (PL27: 27 d after the last metamorphic molting) were exposed to 2, 3, 4 and 5.8 mg l-1 DO for 50 d. P was obtained from the transformation into energy units (J g-1 dw d-1) of the growth rate. The respiratory rate was determined by evaluating oxygen consumption of fasting shrimp and spontaneous activity (routine metabolism: Rrout) and measuring apparent heat increase (RAHI). Throughout the experimental periods, survival was not affected by DO levels and remained within 77 and 85%. P was constant between 5.4 and 4 mg l-1 DO but decreased at lower DO levels (p < 0.05). Rrout was affected by DO, with the highest levels observed in shrimp exposed at 4 and 5.8 mg l-1 DO and the lowest at 2 mg l-1 DO (p < 0.05). The opposite effect was seen in RAHI, where the highest levels were registered in shrimp kept at 2 mg l-1 DO and the lowest at 5.8 mg l-1 (p < 0.05). The reason behind a higher RAHI in shrimp kept at a lower DO level was the result of more time being invested in the mechanical and biochemical transformation of the food, which acts as a metabolical brake. AS was constant between 5.8 and 4 mg l-1 DO, but decreased with respect to a DO reduction. Accordingly, a critical level was established for AS at 4 mg l-1 DO, below which AS becomes dependent on DO. In contrast, the amount of assimilated energy directed to production (P/AS) increased with respect to DO reduction when the shrimp were exposed to DO levels below 4 mg l-1. These results show that the side effects produced by low DO levels are generally compensated by an increase in production efficiency despite reduced respiratory efficiency.

KEY WORDS: Dissolved oxygen · Production · Oxygen consumption · Assimilation · Survival · Penaeus setiferus juveniles

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