Effect of thermal acclimation on organ mass, tissue respiration, and allometry in Leichhardtian river prawns Macrobrachium tolmerum (Riek, 1951)

Taryn S Crispin, C.R. White

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Changes to an animal's abiotic environment-and consequent changes in the allometry of metabolic rate in the whole animal and its constituent parts-has considerable potential to reveal important patterns in both intraspecific and interindividual variation of metabolic rates. This study demonstrates that, after6 wk of thermal acclimation at replicate treatments of 16°, 21°, and 25°C, standard metabolic rate (SMR) scales allometrically in Leichhardtian river prawns Macrobrachium tolmerum (mean scaling exponent p=0.61) and that the scaling exponent and normalization constant of the relationship between SMR and body mass is not significantly different among acclimation treatments when measured at 21°C. There is, however, significant variation among individuals in whole-animal metabolic rate. We hypothesized that these observations may arise because of changes in the metabolic rate and allometry of metabolic rate or mass of organ tissues within the animal. To investigate this hypothesis, rates of oxygen consumption in a range of tissues (gills, gonads, hepatopancreas, chelae muscle, tail muscle) were measured at 21°C and related to the body mass (M) and whole-animal SMR of individual prawns. We demonstrate that thermal acclimation had no effect on organ and tissue mass, that most organ and tissue (gills, gonads, hepatopancreas) respiration rates do not change with acclimation temperature, and that residual variation in the allometry of M. tolmerum SMR is not explained by differences in organ and tissue mass and respiration rates. These results suggest that body size and ambient temperature may independently affect metabolic rate in this species. Both chelae and tail muscle, however, exhibited a reduction in respiration rate in animals acclimated to 25° relative to those acclimated to 16° and 21°C. This reduction in respiration rates of muscle at higher temperatures is evidence of a tissue-specific acclimation response that was not detectable at the whole-animal level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-481
Number of pages12
JournalPhysiological and Biochemical Zoology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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