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Remote bioenergetics measurements in wild fish: Opportunities and challenges
- Cooke, Steven J., Brownscombe, Jacob W., Raby, Graham D., Broell, Franziska, Hinch, Scott G., Clark, Timothy D., Semmens, Jayson M.
- Comparative biochemistry and physiology 2016 v.202 pp. 23-37
- biologists, ecology, electrocardiography, electromyography, energy metabolism, equations, fisheries management, heart rate, locomotion, microprocessors, models, thermic effect of food, wastes, wild fish
- The generalized energy budget for fish (i.e., Energy Consumed=Metabolism+Waste+Growth) is as relevant today as when it was first proposed decades ago and serves as a foundational concept in fish biology. Yet, generating accurate measurements of components of the bioenergetics equation in wild fish is a major challenge. How often does a fish eat and what does it consume? How much energy is expended on locomotion? How do human-induced stressors influence energy acquisition and expenditure? Generating answers to these questions is important to fisheries management and to our understanding of adaptation and evolutionary processes. The advent of electronic tags (transmitters and data loggers) has provided biologists with improved opportunities to understand bioenergetics in wild fish. Here, we review the growing diversity of electronic tags with a focus on sensor-equipped devices that are commercially available (e.g., heart rate/electrocardiogram, electromyogram, acceleration, image capture). Next, we discuss each component of the bioenergetics model, recognizing that most research to date has focused on quantifying the activity component of metabolism, and identify ways in which the other, less studied components (e.g., consumption, specific dynamic action component of metabolism, somatic growth, reproductive investment, waste) could be estimated remotely. We conclude with a critical but forward-looking appraisal of the opportunities and challenges in using existing and emerging electronic sensor-tags for the study of fish energetics in the wild. Electronic tagging has become a central and widespread tool in fish ecology and fisheries management; the growing and increasingly affordable toolbox of sensor tags will ensure this trend continues, which will lead to major advances in our understanding of fish biology over the coming decades.