Juvenile American shad (Alosa sapidissima) experience a wide range of temperatures in rivers before migrating to the ocean. Temperatures in these freshwater environments can vary greatly spatially, seasonally, year-to-year, and can be impacted by anthropogenic factors such as power plant discharge or climate change. Currently, there is uncertainty concerning juvenile American shad thermal tolerance due to a lack of a well-controlled study. Here, we report results of laboratory experiments to establish the upper thermal tolerance and heat shock protein response of juvenile American shad exposed to gradually increasing temperatures. Upper thermal tolerance was determined to be 35 °C (median; range = 34–36 °C) when fish were acclimated to 25 °C and temperatures were raised 1 °C day−1. Heat shock protein response was indicated by changes in branchial mRNA abundance of the inducible heat shock protein 90 alpha (hsp90α), which was significantly elevated (more than 5-fold increase) at 30 °C, and highest in fish that had reached their upper thermal maximum between 34 and 36 °C. Our findings indicate a higher upper thermal tolerance than previously reported for juvenile American shad, and an onset temperature of hsp90α induction at 30 °C, a temperature juvenile American shad commonly experience during summer months.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Upper thermal tolerance and heat shock protein response of juvenile American shad (Alosa sapidissima)|
|Series title||Estuaries and Coasts|
|Contributing office(s)||Leetown Science Center|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|