Marine Biology

, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 275–281 | Cite as

Comparative studies on the metabolism of shallow-water and deep-sea marine fishes. V. Effects of temperature and hydrostatic pressure on oxygen consumption in the mesopelagic zoarcid Melanostigma pammelas

  • B. W. Belman
  • M. S. Gordon


Measurements have been made of routine oxygen consumption rates (\(\dot \nu _{O2}\)) of the mesopelagic deep-sea zoarcid fish Melanostigma pammelas. Determinations were made over ecologically relevant ranges of 3 variables; temperature (3° to 10°C), hydrostatic pressure (1 to 170 atm), and oxygen partial pressure (1 to 160 mm Hg). Weight-specific \(\dot \nu _{O2}\)′s were uniformly low. Of the 3 test variables, only temperature had significant metabolic effects within the ranges studied. Q10's were 6.75 between 3° and 5°C. 1.47 between 5° and 7°C, and 17.4 between 7° and 10°C. These Q10's were constant over the hydrostatic pressure range studied. Between 3° and 7°C the fish regulated their rates of oxygen consumption down to PO2's comparable to those occurring in their natural environments (6 to 12 mm Hg). The showed no capacity to tolerate anoxic conditions. The physiological and ecological significance of these results is discussed, particularly with reference to thermal effects and to the basis of survival of this fish in the oxygen minimum layers of the eastern Pacific Ocean. Since it is possible to maintain M. pammelas in the laboratory for extended periods of time (over 12 months) it could serve as the basis for many interesting studies of deep-sea fish biology.


Oxygen Consumption Pacific Ocean Hydrostatic Pressure Oxygen Partial Pressure Marine Fish 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. W. Belman
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. S. Gordon
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Newport BeachUSA

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