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Bioenergetic responses of sub-adult sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka) (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea) to temperature with special discussion regarding its southernmost distribution limit in China

Xiutang Yuana, b, , Hongsheng Yangb, , , Lili Wanga, Yi Zhoub and Howaida R. Gabrc
 

Abstract

1. This paper investigated the bioenergetic responses of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicas (wet weights of 36.5±1.2 g) to different water temperatures (5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and  30 °C) in the laboratory.

2. Results showed that theoretically the optimal temperatures for energy intake and scope for growth (SFG) of sub-adult A. japonicus was at 15.6 °C and 16.0 °C, respectively. The aestivation threshold temperature for this life-stage sea cucumber could be 29.0 °C by taking feeding cessation as the indication of aestivation.

3. Our data suggests that A. japonicas is thermo-sensitive to higher temperature, which prevents it from colonising sub-tropical coastal zones. Therefore, water temperature plays an important role in its southernmost distribution limit in China.

4. The potential impact of global ocean warming on A. japonicus might be a northward shift in the geographical distribution.

Keywords: Sea cucumber; Apostichopus japonicus; Temperature; Bioenergetic responses; Global ocean warming; Geographical distribution limit; Northward shift






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