Aerobic scope fails to explain the detrimental effects on growth resulting from warming and elevated CO2 in Atlantic halibut
Journal article, 2014

As a consequence of increasing atmospheric CO2, the world's oceans are becoming warmer and more acidic. Whilst the ecological effects of these changes are poorly understood, it has been suggested that fish performance including growth will be reduced mainly as a result of limitations in oxygen transport capacity. Contrary to the predictions given by the oxygen- and capacity-limited thermal tolerance hypothesis, we show that aerobic scope and cardiac performance of Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) increase following 14–16 weeks exposure to elevated temperatures and even more so in combination with CO2-acidified seawater. However, the increase does not translate into improved growth, demonstrating that oxygen uptake is not the limiting factor for growth performance at high temperatures. Instead, long-term exposure to CO2-acidified seawater reduces growth at temperatures that are frequently encountered by this species in nature, indicating that elevated atmospheric CO2 levels may have serious implications on fish populations in the future.

Carbon dioxide

Optimal temperature

Ocean acidification

Oxygen and capacity limited thermal tolerance


Oxygen consumption rate

Climate change



Albin Gräns

University of Gothenburg

Fredrik Jutfelt

University of Gothenburg

Erik Sandblom

University of Gothenburg

Elisabeth Jönsson

University of Gothenburg

Kerstin Wiklander

Chalmers, Mathematical Sciences, Mathematical Statistics

University of Gothenburg

Henrik Seth

University of Gothenburg

Catharina Olsson

University of Gothenburg

Samuel Dupont

University of Gothenburg

Olga Ortega-Martínez

University of Gothenburg

Ingibjörg Einarsdottir

University of Gothenburg

Björn Thrandur Björnsson

University of Gothenburg

Kristina Sundell

University of Gothenburg

Michael Axelsson

University of Gothenburg

Journal of Experimental Biology

0022-0949 (ISSN) 1477-9145 (eISSN)

Vol. 217 5 711-717

Subject Categories

Biological Sciences

Probability Theory and Statistics



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