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J Comp Physiol B. 2006 Jun;176(5):387-91. Epub 2005 Dec 14.

Metabolic rate of Arctic charr eggs depends on their parentage.

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Integrative Ecology Unit, Department of Ecology and Systematics, Division of Population Biology, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 65, 00014, Helsinki, Finland.


The metabolic rate (specific heat output) of individual eyed-stage eggs of Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus (Linnaeus, 1758) originating from different families was measured with direct microcalorimetry. Metabolic rates varied between 2.3-7.9 microW ind(-1) and 0.06-0.22 microW mg(-1). Absolute heat output was unrelated to egg size, but size-scaled or specific heat output was negatively correlated with egg size, measured as diameter, dry mass or fresh mass. Metabolic rates varied significantly between families, suggesting that genetic and/or maternal effects affect embryonic metabolism in Arctic charr. Heat output increased almost linearly from 3.4 to 16.7 microW ind(-1) (0.09-0.67 microW mg(-1)) during the embryonic development. Although the metabolic rate varied between the families and egg metabolic rate increased during development, there was an unexpected disconnect between metabolic rate and hatching time.

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