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Effect of thermal acclimation on muscle fiber recruitment of swimming striped bass morone saxatilis

Effect of thermal acclimation on muscle fiber recruitment of swimming striped bass morone saxatilis

Physiological Zoology 60(3): 310-320

ISSN/ISBN: 0031-935x

DOI: 10.2307/30162284

Recruitment pattern of red and white muscle fibers and initial swimming speeds of white muscle activation by thermally acclimated striped bass (Morone saxatilis) were determined by electromyography. Fish acclimated to 9 and 25 C were induced to swim in a stamina tunnel both at their respective acclimation temperatures and at a common temperature of 15 C. Speeds of initial white muscle recruitment (maximal sustainable swimming speed) are 1.95 .+-. 0.33 and 2.82 .+-. 0.26 BL s-1 (body lengths s-1) for animals swimming at their acclimation temperatures of 9 and 25 C, respectively. Thermal sensitivity of sustained swimming speed to acute temperature change is independent of the fish's thermal history, showing Q10's of 1.47 and 1.53 for animals acclimated to 9 and 25 C, respectively. Cold acclimation of striped bass clearly leads to an increase in sustained swimming ability. When tested at 15 C, fish acclimated to 9 C are able to attain a speed of 2.46 .+-. 0.13 BL s-1 using exclusively red muscle, while those acclimated to 25 C begin to recruit white fibers at 1.84 .+-. 0.10 BL s-1. This effect appears solely attributable to the increased proportion of trunk musculature occupied by red fibers after cold acclimation. The relationship between tail-beat frequency (TBF) and swimming speed for striped bass is independent of the animal's thermal history but dependent on water temperature of the swimming trial. Slopes of the lines describing this relationship decrease (i.e., stride length increases) with decreasing water temperature, implying either increased efficiency of power transmission into propulsion or decreased energetic cost of locomotion at cold temperatures.

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