Temperature effects on performance and physiology of two prairie stream minnows

TitleTemperature effects on performance and physiology of two prairie stream minnows
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsFrenette, BD, Bruckerhoff, LA, Tobler, M, Gido, KB
Secondary AuthorsClark, T
JournalConservation Physiology
KeywordsActivity, fish, metabolism, swimming performance, Temperature, thermal limit

Earth’s atmosphere has warmed by ~1°C over the past century and continues to warm at an increasing rate. Effects of atmospheric warming are already visible in most major ecosystems and are evident across all levels of biological organization. Linking functional responses of individuals to temperature is critical for predicting responses of populations and communities to global climate change. The southern redbelly dace Chrosomus erythrogaster and the central stoneroller Campostoma anomalum are two minnows (Cyprinidae) that commonly occur in the Flint Hills region of the USA but show different patterns of occurrence, with dace largely occupying headwater reaches and stonerollers persisting in both headwater and intermediate-sized streams. We tested for differences between species in critical thermal maximum, energy metabolism, sustained swimming and activity over an ecologically relevant temperature gradient of acclimation temperatures. Typically, metrics increased with acclimation temperature for both species, although stoneroller activity decreased with temperature. We observed a significant interaction between species and temperature for critical thermal maxima, where stonerollers only had higher critical thermal maxima at the coldest temperature and at warm temperatures compared to the dace. We did not find evidence suggesting differences in the energy metabolism of dace and stonerollers. We detected interspecific differences in sustained swimming performance, with dace having higher swimming speed than stonerollers regardless of acclimation temperature. Finally, there was a significant interaction between temperature and species for activity; dace activity was higher at intermediate and warm temperatures compared to stonerollers. We observed subtle interspecific differences in how performance metrics responded to temperature that did not always align with observed patterns of distribution for these species. Thus, other ecological factors likely are important drivers of distributional patterns in these species.