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Ecology of species and habitats

A study of the hypoxic zones of the St. Lawrence.
Photo: Biodôme de Montréal (Claude Lafond)

Impact of dissolved oxygen concentration on the survival, growth and metabolism of the Québec strain of spotted wolffish

The objective of this research project was to test the effects of hypoxia, hyperoxia and dissolved oxygen (DO) fluctuations on survival, growth and several other physiological indicators of stress and health in young spotted wolfish. The project also aimed to measure the effects of DO as well as size and diet on oxygen consumption (MO2) of the spotted wolffish, in order to better understand its tolerance to weak concentrations of oxygen often observed in conditions of captivity and in its natural environment. Experimental tests were used to determine the tolerance of the Québec strain of the wolfish to hypoxia and provide information about different DO levels on its growth and physiological adjustment mechanisms. A segment of this research project was devoted to constraints faced by this endangered species in their natural environment, helping us to understand phenomena related to the decline of natural populations in hypoxic zones of the St. Lawrence.

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