Oral Presentation Australian Society for Fish Biology Conference 2017

Accelerometers reveal thermal performance regimes in free-ranging elasmobranchs (#112)

Karissa Lear 1 , Nicholas Whitney 2 , David Morgan 1 , Lauran Brewster 3 , Jeff Whitty 1 , Gregg Poulakis 4 , Adrian Gleiss 1
  1. Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research, Murdoch University, Perth, WA, Australia
  2. New England Aquarium, Boston, MA, USA
  3. University of Hull, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, United Kingdom
  4. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Port Charlotte, FL, USA

Temperature is one of the most influential drivers of physiology and behaviour in ectotherms, and therefore understanding how temperature influences physiological performance is important to understanding an animal’s ecology. Most previous studies of thermal performance in fish have been conducted under controlled laboratory settings as measuring physiological performance in wild systems has historically been a difficult task, creating uncertainty in how these laboratory measurements are realized in natural environments. Recent advances in technology have allowed performance of free-ranging fish to be quantified, producing a more cohesive and ecologically relevant picture of thermal performance. Here, we use body acceleration data collected from eight species of free-ranging sharks and sawfish at a range of temperatures to determine how these fish change their activity in response to temperature. We compare the sensitivity of this response between species and energetic strategies (buccal-pumping and ram-ventilating animals), and fit thermal performance curves to the activity data. The temperature sensitivity and thermal performance regimes of each species are examined in the context of climate change and biogeography.