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Effects of temperature on swimming performance of three Gila congenerics: G. cypha, G. elegans and G. robusta

Chandos, Amy Susan (2017) Effects of temperature on swimming performance of three Gila congenerics: G. cypha, G. elegans and G. robusta. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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The Colorado River Basin (CRB) is an environmentally complex aquatic network, with historically large annual variations in discharge, sediment loads, and water temperatures, that pose significant ecological and physiological challenges to its native ichthyofauna (Schmidt et al., 1998; Kammerer, 2005). Effects of climate change within the CRB are likely to produce a drier and warmer regional climate, more frequent droughts, as well as changes in variability, frequency, and amount of precipitation (Meehl et al., 2010; Xie et al, 2010; Pielke et al., 1999). Water temperatures within the CRB could increase by 5.6° C over the next century, which will affect the aquatic food web structure, biodiversity, and the endemic native fishes of this region, and it is uncertain how this ecosystem and its organisms will respond (Wrona et al., 2006; IPCC, 2007; Arismendi et al., 2014). Among the native species which will be affected by this water temperature increase, Gila elegans, G. cypha, and G. robusta offer a unique opportunity to examine how the swimming performance of these species will be affected by climate change due to their close phylogenetic relationships, shared ecology, and distinctive morphologies. (Minckley & Marsh, 2009). This study examined the effects of temperature on the swimming performance of juvenile G. elegans, G. cypha, and G. robusta acclimated to one test temperature (10°C, 16°C, 20°C, or 30°C) for 7 days. Results of this study demonstrated that these three species are affected uniformly by temperature, that temperature and species affects the swimming performance, and yet the results do not support an interaction of these two variables as having an effect of swimming performance. Of these three species, G. cypha demonstrated the greatest swimming performance while G. elegans and G. robusta demonstrated indistinguishable differences in swimming performance. The swimming performance for G. cypha increases as temperature is increased from 10°C to 20°C, however there is no difference between the swimming performance at 20°C and 30°C. Size, temperature, and the interaction of these two response variables was shown to influence the swimming performance of juvenile G. elegans.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Science > Biological Sciences
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2017 22:04
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/4974

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