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Fish Physiol Biochem. 2013 Apr;39(2):277-86. doi: 10.1007/s10695-012-9698-x. Epub 2012 Aug 7.

Salinity and temperature tolerance of brown-marbled grouper Epinephelus fuscoguttatus.

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Department of Environmental Biology and Fisheries Science, Collage of Ocean Science and Resource, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 202, Taiwan.


Grouper have to face varied environmental stressors as a result of drastic changes to water conditions during the storm season. We aimed to test the response of brown-marbled grouper to drastic and gradual changes in temperature and salinity to understand the grouper's basic stress response. The results can improve the culture of grouper. Brown-marbled grouper, Epinephelus fuscoguttatus (6.2 ± 0.8 g) were examined for temperature and salinity tolerances at nine different environmental regimes (10, 20, and 33 ‰ combined with 20, 26 and 32 °C), in which the fish were subjected to both gradual and sudden changes in temperature and salinity. The critical thermal maximum (50 % CTMAX) and the upper incipient lethal temperature (UILT) were in the ranges of 35.9-38.3 and 32.7-36.5 °C, respectively. The critical thermal minimum (50 % CTMIN) and the lower incipient lethal temperature (LILT) were in the ranges of 9.8-12.2 and 14.9-22.3 °C, respectively. The critical salinity maximum (50 % CSMAX) and the upper incipient lethal salinity (UILS) were in the ranges of 67.0-75.5 and 54.2-64.8 ‰, respectively. Fish at temperature of 20 °C and a salinity of 33 ‰ tolerated temperatures as low as 10 °C when the temperature was gradually decreased. Fish acclimated at salinities of 10-33 ‰ and a temperature of 32 °C tolerated salinities of as high as 75-79 ‰. All fish survived from accumulating salinity after acute transfer to 20, 10, 5, and 3 ‰. But all fish died while transferred to 0 ‰. Relationships among the UILT, LILT, 50 % CTMAX, 50 % CTMIN, UILS, 50 % CSMAX, salinity, and temperature were examined. The grouper's temperature and salinity tolerance elevated by increasing acclimation temperature and salinity. On the contrary, the grouper's temperature and salinity tolerance degraded by decreasing acclimation temperature and salinity. The tolerance of temperature and salinity on grouper in gradual changes were higher than in drastic changes.

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