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Understanding How Fish Respond to Warmer Waters and Climate Change (Sarah Brown, Program Coordinator for the Terranaut Club)

August 31, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Continuing into August, MTRI will be hosting weekly seminars on Thursday evenings from 7 – 8 p.m. These seminars will be online so you can sign up on Zoom, catch our Facebook live stream or watch afterwards on our YouTube channel. This month our seminars will feature mosquito diversity in Nova Scotia, wildfires in Canada, fungi of Hemlock forests, parasites in White-Tailed Deer and the impact of warming waters on fish! You can register on Zoom using the links below.
Climate change has led to variations in global mean temperatures, as well as the intensity, frequency, and duration of more extreme temperature events. The processes by which animals cope with these thermal variations are not yet fully understood, but it has been suggested that an animal’s response to increases in rising stable, mean temperatures is different than their response to thermal variability. Using a small mangrove fish as a model species, I predicted that natural, unpredictable thermal variability would affect the fish’s physiology, as measured through their survival rate, fecundity, growth rate, various aspects of their thermal biology, and gill morphology. My data showed that the survival, fecundity, and growth rate of these fish significantly decline during exposure to unpredictable thermal environments, yet their thermal biology is not significantly altered. Collectively, our data reveal that the unpredictability of thermal fluctuations is an important factor to consider when studying the physiological effects of thermal variation.