Physiological responses of largemouth bass to acute temperature and oxygen stressors

M. M. Van Landeghem, D. H. Wahl, C. D. Suski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Temperature and oxygen gradients exist in nearly every water body, but anthropogenic activities can subject fish to rapid changes in these important environmental variables. These rapid changes in temperature and oxygen (generally referred to as temperature or oxygen shock) may have sub-lethal consequences depending upon the magnitude and the fish species. This study quantified physiological changes in largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides (Lacepède), exposed to two levels of heat and cold shocks and to two levels of hypoxic and hyperoxic shocks. Following a cold shock from 20 °C to 8 °C, plasma cortisol and glucose increased after 1 h and lactate dehydrogenase activity increased after 6 h. Plasma glucose and K+ concentrations increased 1 h after a heat shock from 20 °C to 32 °C but not after 6 h. Bass subjected to a hypoxic shock from 8 to 2 mg O2 L-1 showed decreased plasma K+ and increased plasma glucose and white muscle lactate. No changes in physiological parameters were observed in bass subjected up to 18 mg O2 L-1 hyperoxia. Results from this study suggest that largemouth bass can tolerate a wide range of temperature and oxygen shocks, but temperature decreases of 20 to 8 °C and hypoxia as low as 4 mg O2 L-1 should be avoided to minimise physiological perturbations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-425
Number of pages12
JournalFisheries Management and Ecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010


  • Anthropogenic stressors
  • Cold shock
  • Heat shock
  • Hyperoxia
  • Hypoxia
  • Micropterus salmoides
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

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