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Title: Reduced hypoxia tolerance and survival at elevated temperatures may limit the ability of Amazonian fishes to survive in a warming world
Authors: Jung, Ellen H.
Brix, Kevin V.
Richards, Jeffrey G.
Val, Adalberto Luis
Brauner, Colin John
Keywords: Amazon
Climate Change
Heat waves
Hypoxia tolerance
Thermal tolerance
Issue Date: 2020
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Science of the Total Environment
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 748
Abstract: The Amazon basin contains more than 20% of the world's freshwater fishes, many of ecological and economical importance. An increase in temperature of 2.2 to 7 °C is predicted to occur within the next century in the worst-case scenario of climate change predictions, which will likely be associated with an increase in the prevalence and duration of reduced water oxygen levels (hypoxia). Furthermore, there is an increasing frequency of heat waves in the Amazon basin, which exacerbates issues related to temperature and hypoxia. Increases in temperature and hypoxia both constrain an organism's ability to supply oxygen to metabolizing tissues, thus the ability to cope with thermal and hypoxic stress may be correlated. Here, we reveal a positive correlation between acute thermal tolerance and acute hypoxia tolerance amongst 37 Amazonian fish species at the current river temperatures of 28–31 °C. The effects of long-term (10 days or 4 weeks) increases in temperature were investigated in a subset of 13 species and demonstrated that 2 species failed to acclimate and survive at 33 °C, 9 species failed at 35 °C, and only 2 species survived up to 35 °C. Of those that survived long-term exposure to 33 or 35 °C, the majority of the species demonstrated only an improvement in acute thermal tolerance. In contrast, hypoxia tolerance was reduced following acute- and long-term exposure to 33, 35 or 37 °C in all species investigated. The results of this study suggest that many of the fish species that inhabit the Amazon may be at risk during both short- and long-term temperature increases and these risks are exacerbated by the associated environmental hypoxia.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141349
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