Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The gut could reveal effect of climate change on fish

Date:
May 14, 2012
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
As sea temperatures rise, stocks of some fish species can decline while others may grow, reveals new research looking at gastrointestinal function in fish.

The gut could reveal effect of climate change on fish.
Credit: University of Gothenburg

As sea temperatures rise, stocks of some fish species will decline while others will grow, reveals new research from the University of Gothenburg looking at gastrointestinal function in fish.

Related Articles


The gastrointestinal system in fish is much more sensitive to temperature changes than previously believed and may even be a limiting factor for the distribution of species, a thesis from the University of Gothenburg shows.

By looking at how gut function in various fish species is affected by both rapid and slow changes in water temperature, we can better understand what will happen to different species when the climate changes.

"When the temperature of the water rises, the fish's body temperature climbs, activity in the gut increases, and more energy is needed to stay healthy," says researcher Albin Gräns,who has studied various species in both saltwater and freshwater environments in western Sweden, California and Greenland.

Ectothermic animals are Cold-blooded victims of their environment

Almost all fish are ectothermiccold-blooded, which means that their body temperature is the same as that of their surroundings. When the temperature of the water changes, so does the temperature of the fish, which affects all their body functions.

"Since changes in body temperature affect virtually all of a fish's organs, it's surprising that we know so little about how temperature changes impact on their physiology," says Gräns.

Winners and losers

Albin Gräns has studied sculpin, sturgeon and rainbow trout/salmon at various temperatures.

His research shows that some species may find it harder to absorb nutrients as water temperatures rise, while others could profit from the new climate.

"If the water temperature in the Arctic rises further, some sedentary immobile species, such as various types of sculpin, will probably struggle to maintain blood flow in the gut during the summer months, which will affect their health," he explains.

Other fish, such as those currently living at the lower extremes of their possible distribution, could instead benefit from a slightly higher temperature. The effects of a rise in water temperature will therefore vary between species, and many of the changes are difficult to predict.

"Our work is largely about trying to identify the physiological bottlenecks, in other words which parts of the body will fail first -- whether the heart or the gut is the most sensitive part of the system."

Exploiting temperature differences

Turning food into nutrition requires the gastrointestinal system to function properly. Fish turn out to have guts that are highly sensitive to changes in water temperature, and many temperature-regulating behaviors observed in fish can probably be due to that the fish put down to attempts to maintain or maximize gastrointestinal function.

"By eating at one temperature and then swimming off to another temperature to digest the food, fish can exploit areas that might otherwise be harmful to them," says Gräns.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "The gut could reveal effect of climate change on fish." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120514144729.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2012, May 14). The gut could reveal effect of climate change on fish. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120514144729.htm
University of Gothenburg. "The gut could reveal effect of climate change on fish." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120514144729.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

AP (Mar. 4, 2015) — Once nearly extinct, grey whales now migrate in their thousands to Mexico&apos;s Vizcaino reserve in Baja California, in search of warmer waters to mate and give birth. Tourists flock to the reserve to see the whales, measuring up to 49 feet long. (March 4) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Australian Museum Shares Terrifying Goblin Shark With the World

Australian Museum Shares Terrifying Goblin Shark With the World

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) — The Australian Museum has taken in its fourth-ever goblin shark, a rare fish with an electricity-sensing snout and &apos;alien-like&apos; jaw. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) takes a look. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Hormone Could Protect Against Diabetes And Weight Gain

New Hormone Could Protect Against Diabetes And Weight Gain

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) — A newly discovered hormone mimics the effects of exercise, protecting against diabetes and weight gain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prince William Calls for Unified Effort Against Illegal Wildlife Trade

Prince William Calls for Unified Effort Against Illegal Wildlife Trade

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Mar. 4, 2015) — Britain&apos;s Prince William pledges to unite against illegal wildlife trade on the final day of his visit to China. Rough cut - no reporter narration Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins