Specific dynamic action (SDA), the increase in metabolic expenditure associated with consumption of a meal, represents a substantial portion of fish energy budgets and is highly influenced by ambient temperature. The effect of temperature on SDA has not been studied in yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares, Bonnaterre 1788), an active pelagic predator that occupies temperate and subtropical waters. The energetic cost and duration of SDA were calculated by comparing routine and post-prandial oxygen consumption rates. Mean routine metabolic rates in yellowfin tuna increased with temperature, from 136 mg O2 kg(-1)h(-1) at 20 °C to 211 mg O2 kg(-1)h at 24 °C. The mean duration of SDA decreased from 40.2h at 20 °C to 33.1h at 24 °C, while mean SDA coefficient, the percentage of energy in a meal that is consumed during digestion, increased from 5.9% at 20 °C to 12.7% at 24 °C. Digestion in yellowfin tuna is faster at a higher temperature but requires additional oxidative energy. Enhanced characterization of the role of temperature in SDA of yellowfin tuna deepens our understanding of tuna physiology and can help improve management of aquaculture and fisheries.
Keywords: Digestion; Energetics; Respiration; SDA; Temperature; Thunnus albacares; Yellowfin tuna.
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