Oxygen consumption during acclimation to increasing salinity in the freshwater euryhaline cichlid Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus, 1757) Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/2z10wt27z

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  • Two sets of experiments measured changes in the oxygen consumption of the euryhaline teleost Oreochromis niloticus during acclimation to progressively increased salinity. Six acrylic respirometers were constructed for this purpose. The salinities tested were 9, 18, 27 and 36 ppt, with 36 ppt considered as full strength seawater. Fish were placed in respirometers and allowed to acclimate for 5 days at each experimental salinity. Changes in the rate of oxygen consumption of the treatment fish (SW) were compared to freshwater control fish (FW). There was a significant increase in the plasma Na⁺ concentration of seawater acclimated fish over the control freshwater fish at the end of the experiment. There was no significant change in the plasma K⁺ concentration of seawater-acclimated fish and there was no significant differences in the dry weights between freshwater and seawater-acclimated 0. niloticus. The constancy of water contents reflected the homeosmotic nature of this euryhaline fish, and its resistance to dehydration during acclimation. Oxygen consumption of fish was lower in 9 ppt than in other salinities including freshwater. Oxygen consumption was maximum at 27 ppt, though it represented a lower osmotic stress on the fish than full strength seawater. At a salinity of 27 ppt fish probably encountered an "osmotic adaptive threshold" where the salt excretory mechanism via chloride cells was fully activated.
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