Aquatic Life History Trajectories Are Shaped by Selection, Not Oxygen Limitation

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Pauly [ 1 ] argues that, as espoused in the gill-oxygen limitation theory (GOLT), growth slows as size increases because oxygen supply via the gills is unable to keep up with the oxygen demands of an increasingly large body. Thus, according to GOLT, growth determines the timing of reproduction, and fish reproduce when they become oxygen limited and growth starts to decline. GOLT has been critiqued on physiological grounds [ 2 , 3 ], and we agree with those critiques. Large fish are no more oxygen limited than small fish, primarily because their respiratory surface area matches their metabolic demand for oxygen over a large size range (see Table 1 in [ 4 ]).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-184
Number of pages3
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

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