This research was funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Environmental Biology of Fishes
Pacific lamprey -- Research
Climate models suggest that by 2100, maximum temperatures where many larval Pacific lamprey, Entosphenus tridentatus, rear now may approach 27–31 °C. Little information exists on whether larval Pacific lamprey can tolerate these temperatures. We used acclimated chronic exposure (ACE) and direct acute exposure (DAE) experiments to determine the water temperature that is lethal to larval Pacific lamprey and whether sublethal water temperatures influence larval burrowing behavior. After 30 days in ACE experiments, all larvae survived in temperatures averaging ≤ 27.7 °C, no larvae survived in temperatures averaging ≥ 30.7 °C and the ultimate upper incipient lethal temperature (UILT) was estimated to be 29.2 °C. After seven days in DAE experiments, all larvae survived in 27.1 °C, only larvae acclimated to 23.3 °C survived in 29.1 °C, and no larvae survived in temperatures ≥ 30.6 °C. Using a time to death analysis, estimates of the UILTs ranged from 27.5 to 30.2 °C and the ultimate UILT was estimated to be > 28.3 °C. Using a percent mortality analysis, estimates of the ultimate UILT were not definitive but indicated it may be > 30.2 °C. To burrow, larvae reared for 30 days at temperatures averaging 26.9–27.7 °C exhibited more total time, active time, and stops than those reared for 30 days at temperatures averaging 22.3–23.9 °C. Our findings suggest that larval Pacific lamprey may be resilient to the most likely temperature increase scenarios predicted by climate models. However, they may be vulnerable to the high-temperature increase scenarios and, relatively high but sublethal temperatures may impact the behavior, and ultimately survival, of larval Pacific lamprey.
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Whitesel, T. A., & Uh, C. T. (2022). Upper temperature limit of larval Pacific lamprey Entosphenus tridentatus: implications for conservation in a warming climate. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 1-16.