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J Fish Biol. 2016 Jan;88(1):232-51. doi: 10.1111/jfb.12833.

Responses by fishes to environmental hypoxia: integration through Fry's concept of aerobic metabolic scope.

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Université de Bretagne Occidentale, LEMAR (UMR 6539), Unité PFOM-ARN, Centre Ifremer de Bretagne, Plouzané 29280, France.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Institut Maurice-Lamontagne, Mont-Joli, QC, G5H 3Z4 Canada.


The problem of understanding the effect of the environment on fish activities and performance, in any generalized way, remains intractable. Solving this issue is, however, a key to addressing contemporary environmental concerns. As suggested 20 years ago by W. H. Neill, the authors returned to the drawing board, using as a background the conceptual scheme initially proposed by F. E. J. Fry. They revisited the effect of ambient oxygen availability upon fish metabolism and clarified the definitions of limiting, critical and incipient lethal oxygen (ILO) levels. The concepts of oxy-conformer and oxy-regulator are revisited, and P. W. Hochachka's idea of scope for survival is explored. Finally, how the cardiovascular system contributes to the capacity of fishes to respond to the reduced oxygen availability is considered. Various hands-on recommendations and software (R scripts) are provided for researchers interested in investigating these concepts.


O2crit; cumulative oxygen deficit; dissolved oxygen; oxy-conformer; oxy-regulator; scope for survival

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