The effect of water temperature on routine swimming behaviour of new born guppies (Poecilia reticulata)
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Guppies have successfully established populations in places with thermal regimes very different from the Tropical conditions in their native range. This indicates a remarkable capacity for thermal adaptation. Given their vulnerability to predation as juveniles, acute changes in temperature, which can alter predator-prey relationships, can impact juvenile survival and have amplified consequences at the population level. To understand how temperature may impact juvenile survival and gain insight into their success as an invasive species, we researched the effect of acute temperature changes on the routine swimming behaviour of juvenile guppies. Using a novel 3-dimensional tracking technique, we calculated 4 routine swimming parameters, speed, depth, and variation in speed or depth, at 6 different test temperatures (17, 20, 23, 26, 29, or 32°C). These temperatures cover their natural thermal range and also extended past it in order to include upper and lower thermal limits. Using model selection, we found that body length and temperature had a significant positive relationship with speed. Variation in speed decreased with rising temperatures and fish swam slightly closer to the bottom at higher temperatures. All juveniles increased variation in depth at higher temperatures, though larger individuals maintained slightly more consistent depths. Our results indicate that guppies have a large thermal range and show substantial plasticity in routine swimming behaviours, which may account for their success as an invasive species.
Kent , M & Ojanguren , A F 2015 , ' The effect of water temperature on routine swimming behaviour of new born guppies ( Poecilia reticulata ) ' Open Biology , vol 4 , pp. 547-552 . DOI: 10.1242/bio.20149829
© 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed.
Funding for this research came from The Buckland Foundation, The Scottish Fisheries Museum Trust Ltd. Additional costs and supplies were provided by the School of Biology of The University of St Andrews.
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