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Reproductive sensitivity to elevated water temperatures in female Atlantic salmon is heightened at certain stages of vitellogenesis


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King, HR, Pankhurst, NW and Watts, M 2007 , 'Reproductive sensitivity to elevated water temperatures in female Atlantic salmon is heightened at certain stages of vitellogenesis' , Journal of Fish Biology, vol. 70, no. 1 , pp. 190-205 , doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2006.01295.x.

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In order to compare the effects on reproductive performance of short-term or prolonged
exposure to elevated temperatures during vitellogenesis, female Atlantic salmon Salmo salar
were held at a water temperature of 22° C for periods of 4 or 6 weeks during the austral summer
and autumn. Plasma levels of 17b-oestradiol (E2), testosterone (T) and vitellogenin (Vtg) were
monitored and reproductive success was compared to that in groups of fish maintained at 14 or
22° C for 12 weeks from mid-January. Significant endocrine effects were observed within as few
as 3 days of the commencement of exposure to 22° C, when plasma levels of E2 (c. 05 ng ml1)
and Vtg (c. 14 mg ml1) were approximately half those observed in fish maintained at 14° C
(c. 10 ng ml1 and 27 mg ml1 respectively). The fertility and survival to the eyed stage of ova
from fish held at 14° C exceeded 85 and 70% respectively, whereas ova from fish held at 22° C
for 6 or 12 weeks exhibited significantly reduced fertility (<70 and <45% respectively) and
survival (c. 40 and 13% respectively). In spite of significant endocrine effects at all stages,
a 4 week exposure to 22° C only generated significant reductions in egg fertility (<65%)
and survival (c. 30%) when it occurred between mid-February and mid-March. Together,
these data confirm that high temperature spikes can affect reproductive success as strongly
as more prolonged exposures, and indicate that there is a critical period of reproductive
sensitivity to elevated temperature in late February and early March in this stock of Atlantic

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:King, HR and Pankhurst, NW and Watts, M
Keywords: reproductive success; salmon; steroidogenesis; temperature; vitellogenesis.
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Fish Biology
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
ISSN: 0022-1112
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2006.01295.x
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