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Evidence that temperature change cues reproductive development in the spiny damselfish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 14:05 authored by Mark HilderMark Hilder, Pankhurst, NW
The role of temperature in the reproductive development of the spiny damselfish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus, was assessed by measuring changes in ovulatory periodicity and plasma levels of gonadal steroids in response to temperature shifts of 4°C. This was assessed in sexually mature, paired and unpaired fish. The effect of brood presence on reproductive activity was also assessed. Temperature change but not brood presence significantly affected the spawning periodicity of sexually mature, reproductively active pairs. A temperature increase from 24°C to 28°C resulted in a decrease in the ovulatory period from 32 days to 21 days. Incubation temperature was found to dramatically affect survival of the egg clutches with only one of 13 egg clutches surviving to hatching at 24°C, compared with 50 of 51 egg clutches surviving at 28°C. Gonadal steroid production was positively correlated with temperature increase in paired fish. Plasma levels of 17β-estradiol and testosterone (T), increased significantly in female fish, whereas there was no change in T and 11-ketotestosterone, in paired male fish exposed to a temperature increase from 24°C to 28°C. In unpaired fish, temperature change had ambiguous affects on plasma steroid levels, suggesting that social context is necessary for stimulation of reproductive development by temperature.


Publication title

Environmental Biology of Fishes








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Kluwer Academic Publications

Place of publication

Dordrecht, Netherlands

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Fisheries - aquaculture not elsewhere classified

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