The effects of static and diurnally-cycling temperature acclimations on thermal tolerances of rainbow trout, Salmo gairdneri
Threader, Ronald William Joseph.
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:ofiedian lethal temperatures ( LT50' s ) were determined for rainbow trout, Salmo gairdnerii, acclimated for a minimum of 21 days at 5 c onstant temperatures between 4 and 20 0 C. and 2 diel temperature fluctuations ( sinewave curves of amplitudes ± 4 and ± 7 0 C. about a mean temperature of 12 0 C. ) . Twenty-four-, 48-, and 96-hour LT50 estimates were c alculated f ollowing standard flow-through aquatic bioassay techniques and probi t transformation of mortality data. The phenomenon of delayed thermal mortality was also investigated. Shifts in upper incipient lethal temperature occurred as a result of previous thermal conditioning. It was shown that increases in constant acclimation temperature result in proportional l inear increases in thermal tolerances. The increase i n estimated 96-hour LT50's was approximately 0.13 0 c. X 1 0 C:1 between 8 and 20 0 C. The effect of acclimation to both cyclic temperature regimes was an increase in LT50 to values between the mean and maximum constant equivalent daily temperatures of the cycles. Twenty-four-, 48-, and 96-hour LT50 estimates of both cycles corresponded approximately to the LT50 values of the 16 0 C. c onstant temperature equivalent . This increase i n thermal tolerance was further demonstrated by the delayed thermal mortality experiments . Cycle amplitudes appeared to i nfluence thermal resistance through alterations in initi al mortality since mortality patterns characteristic of base temperature acclimations re-appeared after approximately 68 hours exposure to test temperatures for the 12 + 4 0 C. group, whereas mortality patterns stabilized and remained constant for a period greater than 192 hours with the larger therma l cycle ( 12 + 7 0 C. ). NO s ignificant corre lations between s pecimen weight and time-to-death was apparent. Data are discussed in relation to the establishment of thermal criteria for important commercial and sport fishes , such as the salmonids , as is the question whether previously reported values on lethal temperature s may have been under estimated.