Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Hawaii
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Grabowski, T. B., S. P. Young, L. A. Libungan, A. Steinarsson and G. Marteinsdóttir. 2009. Evidence of phentotypic plasticity and local adaption in metabolic rates between components of the Icelandic cod (Gadus morhua L.) stock. Environmental Biology of Fishes 86:361-370.


Phenotypic plasticity and local adaptations are important considerations in delineating population structure of marine fishes and critical to their conservation and management. We compared the weight-specific oxygen consumption rates (VO2/M) of juvenile cod from the northern and southern components of the Icelandic stock acclimated to 4.0°C, 8.5°C, and 12.6°C and their metabolic response to abrupt temperatures changes within this range. Southern individuals exhibited VO2/M up to 50% higher than their northern counterparts when tested at their acclimation temperature. However, northern fish generally experienced greater changes in VO2/M, three to six-fold increases, relative to that expected at acclimation when moved to higher temperatures. Southern cod showed a greater decrease in VO2/M when exposed to lower temperatures. Our results indicate physiological differences exist between the northern and southern components of the Icelandic cod stock and warrant considering them as two distinct populations.