The relationship between temperature and standard rate of metabolism in African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus, from Uganda

  • Béatrice Adepo-Gourène Université d’Abobo-Adjamé, Laboratoire de Biologie et de Physiologie Animale, UFR-SN, 02 BP 801 Abidjan 02, Côte d’Ivoire
  • Lounès Chikhi UMR CNRS 5174, Evolution et Diversité Biologique, Bât. 4R3 b2, Université Paul Sabatier, 118 Route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse, cedex 4, France
  • Jean-François Agnèse IRD, Laboratoire Génome Populations Interactions et Adaptations, Université de Montpellier II, CC 63, UMR 5900, France
  • Germain Gourène Laboratoire d’Environnement et de Biologie Aquatique, Université d’Abobo-Adjamé, UFR-SGE, 02 BP 801, Abidjan 02, Côte d’Ivoire
  • Alain Hervé IRD, BP 570, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles
Keywords: air-breathing fish, ecophysiology, metabolic rate, Q<sub>10</sub>, respirometry


The relationship between temperature and metabolism among ancient (non-teleost) fishes, while largely unknown, is essential to an understanding of the effects of temperature on fish energetics. This study quantifies the effect of temperature on the standard rate of metabolism in the African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus. We present a Q10 value of 3.3 for individuals ranging in body mass from 42–222g across an ecologically-relevant 10°C temperature range. Protopterus aethiopicus showed a positive bilogarithmic (log-log) relationship between the rate of oxygen consumption and body mass (range = 44–222g) at three water temperatures (20, 25, 30°C). However, adjusted mean rates of oxygen consumption differed among all three temperatures. A Q10 value derived as the means of Q10 values calculated for each individual lungfish averaged 3.3 ± 0.4 (SE) for 20–30°C. A comparison of literature-derived Q10 values for both tropical and temperate fishes suggests a higher Q10 in tropical species (n = 3) than in temperate species (n = 10) across an ecologically-relevant thermal range.

Keywords: air-breathing fish, ecophysiology, metabolic rate, Q10, respirometry

African Journal of Aquatic Science 2007, 32(3): 299–303

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9364
print ISSN: 1608-5914