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The biomechanics and evolutionary significance of thermal acclimation in the common carp Cyprinus carpio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


J M Wakeling, N J Cole, K M Kemp, I A Johnston

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The effects of thermal acclimation were investigated in the common carp Cyprinus carpio L. Acclimation and acute temperature effects were tested during ontogeny from larval [9.5 mm total length (L)] to juvenile (69.0 mm L) stages and between 8 and 21 degrees C. The myosin heavy chain (MHC) composition, myofibrillar Mg2+-Ca2+-ATPase activity, and muscle strains showed significant thermal acclimation effects. MHCs were only expressed in an acclimation temperature-dependent fashion in fish longer than 37 mm. During fast starts, the temperature had a significant effect on the white muscle strain (33% increase and 50% decrease with increasing acclimation and acute temperature, respectively) and contraction duration (25% decrease with increasing acute temperature). Increases in hydrodynamic efficiency (0.19 to 0.38) and hydrodynamic power requirements (Q(10) = 3.2) occurred with increasing acute temperature (10 to 20 degrees C). Competing hypotheses about the evolutionary significance of the temperature acclimation response were tested. Acclimation extended the temperature range for fast-start behavior, but no improvements in performance at the whole animal level were found between 8 and 21 degrees C.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R657-R665
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology. Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2000

    Research areas

  • acute temperature, fast start, kinematics, hydrodynamic efficiency, muscle mechanics, TEMPERATURE-ACCLIMATION, FAST-STARTS, PHENOTYPIC PLASTICITY, ESCAPE PERFORMANCE, POWER OUTPUT, FISH, ISOFORMS

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