Niche dimensions in fishes

An integrative view

H. O. Pörtner, P. M. Schulte, C. M. Wood, F. Schiemer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Current shifts in ecosystem composition and function emphasize the need for an understanding of the links between environmental factors and organism fitness and tolerance. The examples discussed here illustrate how recent progress in the field of comparative physiology may provide a better mechanistic understanding of the ecological concepts of the fundamental and realized niches and thus provide insights into the impacts of anthropogenic disturbance. Here we argue that, as a link between physiological and ecological indicators of organismal performance, the mechanisms shaping aerobic scope and passive tolerance set the dimensions of an animal's niche, here defined as its capacity to survive, grow, behave, and interact with other species. We demonstrate how comparative studies of cod or killifish populations in a latitudinal cline have unraveled mitochondrial mechanisms involved in establishing a species' niche, performance, and energy budget. Riverine fish exemplify how the performance windows of various developmental stages follow the dynamic regimes of both seasonal temperatures and river hydrodynamics, as synergistic challenges. Finally, studies of species in extreme environments, such as the tilapia of Lake Magadi, illustrate how on evolutionary timescales functional and morphological shifts can occur, associated with new specializations. We conclude that research on the processes and time course of adaptations suitable to overcome current niche limits is urgently needed to assess the resilience of species and ecosystems to human impact, including the challenges of global climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)808-826
Number of pages19
JournalPhysiological and Biochemical Zoology
Volume83
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

Fingerprint

Ecosystems
Fish
Ecosystem
Fishes
niches
Comparative Physiology
Fundulidae
Tilapia
Gadiformes
Climate Change
Physiology
Budgets
Hydrodynamics
Lakes
fish
Rivers
Climate change
anthropogenic activities
Animals
Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry

Cite this

Pörtner, H. O., Schulte, P. M., Wood, C. M., & Schiemer, F. (2010). Niche dimensions in fishes: An integrative view. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 83(5), 808-826. https://doi.org/10.1086/655977

Niche dimensions in fishes : An integrative view. / Pörtner, H. O.; Schulte, P. M.; Wood, C. M.; Schiemer, F.

In: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, Vol. 83, No. 5, 01.09.2010, p. 808-826.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pörtner, HO, Schulte, PM, Wood, CM & Schiemer, F 2010, 'Niche dimensions in fishes: An integrative view', Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, vol. 83, no. 5, pp. 808-826. https://doi.org/10.1086/655977
Pörtner HO, Schulte PM, Wood CM, Schiemer F. Niche dimensions in fishes: An integrative view. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. 2010 Sep 1;83(5):808-826. https://doi.org/10.1086/655977
Pörtner, H. O. ; Schulte, P. M. ; Wood, C. M. ; Schiemer, F. / Niche dimensions in fishes : An integrative view. In: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. 2010 ; Vol. 83, No. 5. pp. 808-826.
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