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Refuge quality to cope with UV radiation affects energy allocation in an intertidal fish

Vargas, Juan, Duarte, Cristian, Galban-Malagón, Cristóbal, Roberto García-Huidobro, M., Aldana, Marcela, Pulgar, José
Marine pollution bulletin 2018 v.130 pp. 268-270
Girella, algae, energy, fish, littoral zone, microhabitats, oxygen, oxygen consumption, ultraviolet radiation, water pollution
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a primary environmental stressor for marine species inhabiting intertidal pools. Thus, the use of microhabitats as refuges is key to protect organisms against this stressor. In this study, we compared the quality of rocky and algae as refuges for the intertidal fish Girella laevifrons exposed to UV radiation. Refuge quality was studied by evaluating oxygen consumption and weight gain in control and UV-exposed fish. Rocky-refuge fish consumed less oxygen and gained significantly more weight than algal-refuge fish. The obtained results support the importance of refuge quality on energetic balance of intertidal organisms, where energy can be differentially allocated towards key life processes such as protection/repair or growth. Energy trade-offs need to be considered in research concerning animals inhabiting stressful habitats.