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 January 25, 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 January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) — A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) — Experts estimate Ebola has wiped out one-third of the world&apos;s gorillas and chimpanzees. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — Activists hope the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) will label killer whales endangered, allowing lawyers to sue a Miami aquarium to release an orca into the wild after 44 years. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

Buzz60 (Jan. 23, 2015) — Some &apos;healthy&apos; foods are actually fattening. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) shines a light on the sneaky foods like nuts, seeds, granola, trail mix, avocados, guacamole, olive oil, peanut butter, fruit juices and salads that are good for you...but not so much for your waistline. Video provided by Buzz60
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