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Physiol Biochem Zool. 2001 Jan-Feb;74(1):66-74.

Thermal acclimation, growth, and burst swimming of threespine stickleback: enzymatic correlates and influence of photoperiod.

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Département de Biologie, Université Laval, Québec, Québec G1K 7P4, Canada.


Threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) that had been reared in the laboratory under natural photoperiods were acclimated to 23 degrees and 8 degrees C in late spring under increasing day lengths and again in late fall under decreasing day lengths. The parents of these fish were from the anadromous Isle Verte population. In the spring, cold- and warm-acclimated fish grew at the same rates and attained similar condition factors (mass L(-3)), although food intake was considerably higher at 23 degrees C. As both groups had similar increases in mass and condition, the higher axial muscle activities of citrate synthase and phosphofructokinase (measured at 20 degrees C) after cold acclimation were likely a direct response to temperature. Multiple regression analysis showed that axial muscle levels of cytochrome C oxidase and citrate synthase were correlated with the burst swimming speeds of the spring sticklebacks, while growth rates were positively correlated with lactate dehydrogenase levels in pectoral and axial muscles and creatine kinase levels in the axial muscle. In the fall, the fish in both acclimation groups grew little, although they fed at similar rates as in the spring experiment. Overall, the sticklebacks showed lower burst swimming speeds in the fall. In both spring and fall, the burst speeds of cold- and warm-acclimated sticklebacks only differed at warm temperatures. In the spring experiment, the cold-acclimated fish swam faster, whereas in the fall experiment the warm-acclimated fish swam faster despite their lower percentage of axial muscle. Swimming speeds were measured both at a fish's acclimation temperature and after 12 h at the other temperature. Cold-acclimated sticklebacks seem to have more facility in rapidly adjusting to warm temperatures when they have experienced increasing rather than decreasing day lengths, perhaps as a result of the requirements of the spring migration to the intertidal breeding grounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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