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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Optimum growth temperature declines with body size within fish species

Lindmark, Max; Ohlberger, Jan; Gardmark, Anna

Abstract

According to the temperature-size rule, warming of aquatic ecosystems is generally predicted to increase individual growth rates but reduce asymptotic body sizes of ectotherms. However, we lack a comprehensive understanding of how growth and key processes affecting it, such as consumption and metabolism, depend on both temperature and body mass within species. This limits our ability to inform growth models, link experimental data to observed growth patterns, and advance mechanistic food web models. To examine the combined effects of body size and temperature on individual growth, as well as the link between maximum consumption, metabolism, and body growth, we conducted a systematic review and compiled experimental data on fishes from 52 studies that combined body mass and temperature treatments. By fitting hierarchical models accounting for variation between species, we estimated how maximum consumption and metabolic rate scale jointly with temperature and body mass within species. We found that whole-organism maximum consumption increases more slowly with body mass than metabolism, and is unimodal over the full temperature range, which leads to the prediction that optimum growth temperatures decline with body size. Using an independent dataset, we confirmed this negative relationship between optimum growth temperature and body size. Small individuals of a given population may, therefore, exhibit increased growth with initial warming, whereas larger conspecifics could be the first to experience negative impacts of warming on growth. These findings help advance mechanistic models of individual growth and food web dynamics and improve our understanding of how climate warming affects the growth and size structure of aquatic ectotherms.

Keywords

allometry; body growth; climate change; consumption rate; metabolic rate; metabolic theory of ecology; scaling; temperature-size rule; warming

Published in

Global Change Biology
2022, volume: 28, number: 7, pages: 2259-2271
Publisher: WILEY

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources
Ohlberger, Jan
University of Washington
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources

Associated SLU-program

SLUsystematic

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG14 Life below water

UKÄ Subject classification

Ecology

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.16067

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/115932