Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 269–315 | Cite as

Influences of body mass, temperature, oxygen tension, and salinity on respiratory oxygen consumption of cyprinodontoid fishes of three families

  • Frank G. Nordlie


This review evaluates the current state of knowledge of influences of body mass, ambient temperature, PO2, and salinity on routine metabolic rates of members of three families, Fundulidae, Cyprinodontidae, and Poeciliidae, belonging to the order Cyprinodontiformes. The study was motivated by Winberg’s (Fisheries Research Board of Canada, Translation Series No. 194. Distributed by the Fisheries Research Board of Canada Biological Station, Nanaimo, BC, 1960) conclusion that the Cyprinodontiformes (Winberg included only live-bearing poeciliids) generally have lower metabolic rates that do other fishes. Based on available information Winberg’s conclusion was borne out that live-bearing freshwater poeciliids show lower than average routine metabolic rates compared to other freshwater fish groups. This is also true of poeciliids from saline waters, and of both freshwater and saline-water members of the related families Fundulidae and Cyprinodontidae. However, considerable variation in metabolic patterns was noted within and among these three families. There were geographic variations between subspecies of some species. Some island groups/species showed lower routine metabolic rates than did allied mainland groups/species. Thermal responses (Q10 values) in routine metabolic rates of these fishes showed variations with geographic location, PO2, salinity and size. Values of PO2crit were altered among species by temperature, body size/age, and possibly salinity. Influences of ambient salinity on routine metabolic rates of these cyprinodontoid fishes also showed variations with temperature and size/age of individuals. The patterns of metabolic responses in these cyprinodontoid fishes to environmental conditions were generally similar to those of other species. Unfortunately, the available information on these fishes lacks the uniformity that would allow for critical and quantitative comparisons between and among the cyprinodontoids and with other species.


Cyprinodontoid fishes Routine respiratory metabolic rates Q10 PO2crit Salinity 



My sincere thanks to the Department of Biology for providing space and facilities for my work. Special thanks to Dr. Brian McNab for the regular discussions about patterns of respiratory oxygen consumption, and for his advice on JMP™ programs. Thanks to Dennis Haney, Steve Walsh, Lauren Chapman, and Colin Chapman for their interactions in this work over the years. Thanks to Frank Davis, Pete Ryschkewitsch, Mike Gunter, Jimmie Norton, and John Binello (now deceased) for help in collecting and/or in providing logistic support over the many years that I carried out field and laboratory work. Thanks to the many students, graduate and undergraduate, who participated in the field and laboratory work. Also, thanks to two anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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