Can Fish of the Southern Ocean Handle Climate Change?
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Trematomus bernacchii is a notothenioid fish found in the Southern Ocean (Davison et al. 1994). The Southern ocean is typically -1.8°c all year round and is one of the most temperature sensitive environments (Davison et al. 1995, Davison et al. 1994). Due to the harsh cold environment that is the Southern ocean many organisms living within this habitat are specially adapted to thrive in such environments. T. bernacchii is no exception to this. T. bernacchii is known to show metabolic compensation, this involves T. bernacchii increasing its standard metabolic rate to counteract the Q10 effect in place due to the low temperatures of the water (Somero et al. 1968). Warming of the Southern ocean and the continent of Antarctica has been observed within the past decade (Aggrio & Thomas 2004, Clarke et al. 2007). If this warming continues it could pose a great threat to physiologically specialised organisms within these cool areas. Most organisms which are highly physiologically specialised lack the plasticity to adapt to changing environments (Wilson et al. 2001). This could lead to potential problems for T. bernacchii