Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The gut could reveal effect of climate change on fish

15.05.2012
As sea temperatures rise, stocks of some fish species can decline while others may grow, reveals new research from the University of Gothenburg looking at gastrointestinal function in fish.

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 victims of their environment
Almost all fish are ectothermic, 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 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 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 behaviours observed in fish can probably be due to that the fish attempts to maintain or maximise 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.

The thesis has been successfully defended.

For more information, please contact: Albin Gräns
Telephone: +46 737 033500
E-mail: albin.grans@bioenv.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se
http://hdl.handle.net/2077/28573

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How Plants Form Their Sugar Transport Routes

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Protein 'spy' gains new abilities

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers unravel the social network of immune cells

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>