Low temperature cardiac response to exhaustive exercise in fish with different levels of winter quiescence

Steven J. Cooke, Emily C. Grant, Jason F. Schreer, David P. Philipp, Arthur L. Devries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined the cardiac responses of different fish species to anaerobic exercise at low temperatures (3°C). Three species of sympatric warmwater fish with perceived differences in winter activity were used for this comparative study: the winter-quiescent largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides); the winter-active white bass (Morone chrysops); and the intermediately winter-active black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus). Perceived differences in winter activity were reflected in cardiac responses; e.g. basal cardiac values were lowest for largemouth bass, highest for white bass, and intermediate for black crappie. In addition, cardiac recovery was most rapid for white bass, slowest for largemouth bass and intermediate for black crappie. When disturbed at low temperatures, largemouth bass and black crappie elevated cardiac output principally through increases in heart rate despite substantial decreases in stroke volume. Conversely, white bass principally used stroke volume modulation to change cardiac output. The results of this study indicate that different species respond differently to exercise at low temperatures. Management strategies should recognize that such variation exists and ensure that management decisions are based upon an understanding of the low temperature exercise physiology and winter biology of the species of interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Cardiac output
  • Environment
  • Exercise physiology
  • Interspecific variation
  • Recovery
  • Temperature
  • Winter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology


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