We investigated salinity and temperature effects on routine metabolic rate (RMR), temperature tolerance (CTMax, critical thermal maximum), and salinity tolerance of Limia melanonotata, a poecliid fish that occurs in west-central inland waters of Hispaniola. Routine metabolic rate and CTMax were measured in fish acclimated to three salinities (0, 30, and 60 ppt) and temperatures (25??, 30??, and 35??C) for nine temperature-salinity combinations. Salinity and temperature did not significantly interact in their effect on RMR. For combined salinity acclimations, adjusted RMR (ANCOVA) was significantly lower at 25??C than either 30?? or 35??C. For combined temperature acclimations, mean RMR was significantly lower at 60 ppt than either 0 or 30 ppt. Salinity and temperature had a significant interactive effect on temperature tolerance. Mean CTMax was significantly higher at 30?? than 25??C at all salinities, but at 35??C was significantly higher than at 25?? or 30??C only among fish acclimated in fresh water. Fish exposed to a chronic increase in salinity experienced most mortality in a salinity range of 70-107 ppt, with females exhibiting greater salinity tolerance than males. Limia melanonotata approaches the upper extreme in salinity and temperature tolerances known for poeciliids. Our results also suggest that L. melanonotata may reduce energy expenditures at environmental extremes to tolerate harsh conditions for extended periods. Despite its curythermal and euryhaline adaptations, L. melanonotata has a relatively restricted inland range in Hispaniola and is unknown from inshore brackish or marine habitats. The present distribution of this species and congeners may be the result of a combination of factors that include historical zoogeography and ecological requirements.
Additional publication details
Influence of salinity and temperature on the physiology of Limia melanonotata (Cyprinodontiformes: Poeciliidae): A search for abiotic factors limiting insular distribution in Hispaniola