Environmental Factors, Metabolism and Energetics
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The rate at which food is consumed and the way in which energy from it is partitioned by the fish will depend on the environmental conditions. At one extreme, the abiotic environmental conditions may be so hostile that the stickleback is unable to maintain its metabolic and structural integrity and dies. At the other extreme, benign abiotic conditions may permit the fish to approach a maximisation of its lifetime production of offspring, if the biotic factors of food supply (Chapter 4), predation, parasitism and competition (Chapter 8) are favourable. The effects of abiotic environmental factors on the fish have been classified by Fry (1971) as lethal, controlling, limiting, masking or directive. Any factor may act in one or more of these ways. For the sticklebacks, the most important factors are probably temperature, salinity and oxygen.
KeywordsEnergy Budget Salinity Tolerance Acclimation Temperature Lethal Temperature Lethal Level
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