facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Carp adjustment to climate change studied

Dec. 19, 2006 at 4:03 PM   |   Comments

HAMILTON, Ontario, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Canadian researchers say they've discovered an unanticipated way in which freshwater fish might respond to water diversion and climate change.

The scientists studied endangered naked carp that migrate annually between freshwater rivers, where they spawn, and a lake in Western China, where they feed and grow. However, Lake Qinghai is becoming increasing dry and saline.

Chris Wood of McMaster University and colleagues discovered the carp respond to the increased salinity by taking a "metabolic holiday." Forty-eight hours after transitioning, the carps' oxygen consumption falls, eventually reaching just 60 percent of that in river fish -- and both gill and kidney functions also decline.

"In other words, the kidney changed from an organ which excreted water at a greater rate than salt in river-water, to one which conserved water relative to salt in lake-water," explained the researchers.

"The (oxygen consumption) data indicate the cost of living for the naked carp is 40 percent lower in lake-water than in river-water, and that this difference is almost complete within 12 hours after transfer," said the researchers. "The magnitude of this response is remarkable."

The study will appear in the January/February issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.

Topics: Chris Wood
© 2006 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
Tropical storm Karina looks like the number 9 from space
2
Study explains why ER nurses do what they do
3
Fish can smell a bad coral reef
4
Latvia boasts world's first net for migrating bats
5
Seals, sea lions likely spread tuberculosis to humans
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback