. Earth Science News .

Australian fish adapts to hotter waters: study
by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) Dec 6, 2011

Some tropical fish can adapt quickly to living in warmer waters, according to a new Australian study which found they have a greater capacity to survive rising sea temperatures than previously thought.

Scientists at the government-backed Coral Reef Studies Centre of Excellence found that fish adjusted over several generations to a warmer habitat designed to reflect projected rises in sea temperatures due to global warming.

Researcher Jennifer Donelson said when damselfish were exposed to water temperatures 1.5 and 3.0 degrees Celsius higher than current levels, there was a marked decline in their aerobic capacity, affecting their ability to swim fast.

"The first generation... really struggled with the increases in temperature," she told AFP Tuesday.

"But with two generations maintained at these temperatures we saw that aerobic capacity was improved," she said, adding that it increased to normal levels.

Donelson, who is completing her PhD at James Cook University in Townsville, said the research showed some species could adjust faster than the rate of climate change -- a damselfish reaches maturity within two years.

"The surprise was really how quickly it happened, that it only took two generations. I think everyone assumes that species will be able to adapt but how long it will actually take has been sort of unknown," she said.

The study was designed to look at how fish would cope with the elevated sea temperatures expected by 2050 and 2100. Scientists used likely tropical ocean temperatures based on current trends in man-made carbon dioxide emissions.

But they warned the finding applied only to a single coral reef fish species and did not address the more complex issue of the survival of the coral habitat itself, or the impact of warming on the marine food chain.

They also noted there were likely to be penalties for fish that successfully adapted to higher temperatures, with initial observations suggesting offspring were smaller than their parents.

The rate of reproduction of the fish could also be affected, they said in the research published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Climate Change.

The experiment is continuing, but the researchers said they did not expect the fish to be able to adjust to temperatures above the three degree rise.

Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

China asks Philippines to handle fisherman fairly
Beijing (AFP) Dec 5, 2011
China on Monday asked the Philippines to ensure swift and fair treatment for six Chinese fishermen detained and facing up to 24 years in jail for allegedly poaching sea turtles in disputed waters. China's foreign ministry spokesman said Beijing was "paying attention to the incident", had spoken to the Philippine side and had sent staff from the Chinese embassy in Manila to visit the detainee ... read more

Swiss Re estimates Thai floods cost at $600 mn

Fukushima radioactive water leaked to Pacific: TEPCO

Blue goo a weapon in nuclear cleanup

Web helps Bangkok's flood-hit pets find relief

Japan baby formula shows radiation contamination

Dell abandons Android tablet in US

Proton beam experiments open new areas of research

Streaming to overtake cable in 3-5 years: Netflix

Genetic buzzer-beater genes may save fish

Australian fish adapts to hotter waters: study

Mekong nations to meet on controversial Laos dam

Ocean cacophony a torment for sea mammals

Abrupt permafrost thaw increases climate threat

Simultaneous ice melt in Antarctic and Arctic

Scientists confirm Himalayan glacial melting

'Record-setting' change in warming Arctic: report

Plant seeds protect their genetic material against dehydration

Fake Italian organic food sold around Europe: police

Herbicide may affect plants thought to be resistant

Stronger corn? Take it off steroids, make it all female

No end to eruptions at Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano

Hundreds of houses collapse in China quake

Thailand floods a 'wake-up' call for Asia: ADB

Pakistan most affected by climate change

US troops deploy in LRA rebel hunt: Uganda army

Tough hunt for Lord's Resistance Army in central Africa

Liberia's Nobel Peace Laureate holds peace jamboree

S. Sudan battles to transform guerrilla army

Lighting the way to understanding the brain

Making Collective Wisdom Wiser

Scientists Uncover New Role for Gene in Maintaining Steady Weight

Malaysia tribes struggle with modern problems


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement