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Temperature effects on the blood oxygen affinity in sharks

TitleTemperature effects on the blood oxygen affinity in sharks
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBernal D., Reid J.P, Roessig J.M, Matsumoto S., Sepulveda CA, Cech J.J, Graham JB
JournalFish Physiology and Biochemistry
Date Published2018/06
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0920-1742
Accession NumberWOS:000432520500016
Keywordsbay; behavioral thermoregulation; Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Ectothermy; elasmobranchs; Fisheries; hemoglobin; hemoglobin equilibrium; juvenile mako sharks; large water tunnel; leopard shark; myliobatis-californica; physiology; Regional endothermy; swimming performance; Temperature effects; tomales; triakis-semifasciata; tuna thunnus-thynnus

In fish, regional endothermy (i.e., the capacity to significantly elevate tissue temperatures above ambient via vascular heat exchangers) in the red swimming muscles (RM) has evolved only in a few marine groups (e.g., sharks: Lamnidae, Alopiidae, and teleosts Scombridae). Within these taxa, several species have also been shown to share similar physiological adaptations to enhance oxygen delivery to the working tissues. Although the hemoglobin (Hb) of most fish has a decreased affinity for oxygen with an increase in temperature, some regionally endothermic teleosts (e.g., tunas) have evolved Hbs that have a very low or even an increased affinity for oxygen with an increase in temperature. For sharks, however, blood oxygen affinities remain largely unknown. We examined the effects of temperature on the blood oxygen affinity in two pelagic species (the regionally endothermic shortfin mako shark and the ectothermic blue shark) at 15, 20, and 25 A degrees C, and two coastal ectothermic species (the leopard shark and brown smooth-hound shark) at 10, 15, and 20 A degrees C. Relative to the effects of temperature on the blood oxygen affinity of ectothermic sharks (e.g., blue shark), shortfin mako shark blood was less affected by an increase in temperature, a scenario similar to that documented in some of the tunas. In the shortfin mako shark, this may act to prevent premature oxygen dissociation from Hb as the blood is warmed during its passage through vascular heat exchangers. Even though the shortfin mako shark and blue shark occupy a similar niche, the effects of temperature on blood oxygen affinity in the latter more closely resembled that of the blood in the two coastal shark species examined in this study. The only exception was a small, reverse temperature effect (an increase in blood oxygen affinity with temperature) observed during the warming of the leopard shark blood under simulated arterial conditions, a finding that is likely related to the estuarine ecology of this species. Taken together, we found species-specific differences in how temperature affects blood oxygen affinity in sharks, with some similarities between the regionally endothermic sharks and several regionally endothermic teleost fishes.

Short TitleFish Physiol. Biochem.
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