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Comparison of thermal tolerance and standard metabolic rate of two Great Lakes invasive fish species




Fundamental niche, Respirometry, Thermal tolerance, Aquatic invasive species, Gobiidae


Round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) and western tubenose goby (Proterorhinus semilunaris) invaded the Laurentian Great Lakes at approximately the same time and area yet have shown substantial differences in their post-invasion success with more rapid establishment and development of much larger abundances of round goby populations throughout the invaded habitat. In this study, we compared differences in physiological performance (thermal tolerance and standard metabolic rate) between round and tubenose goby collected from the Huron-Erie corridor. Tubenose goby were observed to have lower thermal tolerance but exhibited similar standard metabolic rate across environmental temperatures compared to round goby. At temperatures exceeding 31oC, tubenose goby demonstrated significantly higher mortalities and shorter times to death relative to round goby. The observed differences in thermal tolerance were consistent with differences in the native geographic ranges observed for each species at their southern ranges. The observed differences in physiological performance combined with species differences in other life history traits such body size, reproduction, feeding ecology and habitat affiliation may also explain differences in the invasiveness experienced by these two Great Lakes invasive fish including a greater ability of round gobies to occupy extreme habitats with large water temperature fluctuations.


Manuscript Accepted by J. Great Lakes Res. Editor on Feb 28, 2018.