Sensitivity of sturgeons to environmental hypoxia: a review of physiological and ecological evidence

Secor, David H. and Niklitschek, Edwin J. (2002) Sensitivity of sturgeons to environmental hypoxia: a review of physiological and ecological evidence. In: Thurston, R.V. (ed.) Fish Physiology, Toxicology, and Water Quality. Proceedings of the 6th International symposium. Athens, GA, Environmental Protection Agency, pp. 61-78.

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Abstract

In this essay, three lines of evidence are developed that sturgeons in the Chesapeake Bay and elsewhere are unusually sensitive to hypoxic conditions: 1. In comparison to other fishes,sturgeons have a limited behavioral and physiological capacity to respond to hypoxia. Basal metabolism, growth, feeding rate, and survival are sensitive to changes in oxygen level, which may indicate a relatively poor ability of sturgeons to oxyregulate. 2. During summertime, temperatures >20°C amplify the effect of hypoxia on sturgeons and other fishes due to a temperature oxygen "squeeze" (Coutant 1987). In bottom waters, this interaction results in substantial reduction of habitat; in dry years, sturgeon nursery habitats in the Chesapeake Bay may be particularly reduced or even eliminated. 3. While evidence for population level effects due to hypoxia is circumstantial, there are corresponding trends between the absence of Atlantic sturgeon reproduction in estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay where summertime hypoxia predominates on a system-wide scale. Also, the recent and dramatic recovery of shortnose sturgeon in the Hudson River (4-bid increase in abundance from 1980 to1995) may have been stimulated by improvement of a large portion of the nursery habitat that was restored from hypoxia to normoxia during the period 1973-1978.

Item Type: Book Section
Title: Sensitivity of sturgeons to environmental hypoxia: a review of physiological and ecological evidence
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Secor, David H.secor@umces.edu
Niklitschek, Edwin J.
Title of Book: Fish Physiology, Toxicology, and Water Quality. Proceedings of the 6th International symposium
Editors:
EditorsEmail
Thurston, R.V.
Refereed: Yes
Page Range: pp. 61-78
Date: 2002
Publisher: Environmental Protection Agency
Place of Publication: Athens, GA
Issuing Agency: University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Chesapeake Biological Laboratory
Additional Information: pp. 61-78, In: Thurston, R.V. (Ed.) Fish Physiology, Toxicology, and Water Quality.Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium, La Paz, Mexico, 22-26 Jan. 2001. [EPA/600/R-02/097], [UMCES Contrib. No. 3518-CBL]
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sturgeon, hypoxia
Subjects: Aquaculture
Conservation
Ecology
Fisheries
Item ID: 4821
Depositing User: Kathleen Heil
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2011 23:07
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 15:51
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/4821

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