Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Warm and cold temperatures limit the maximum body length of teleost fishes across a latitudinal gradient in Norwegian waters

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Fabrice StephensonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2022, The Author(s).As the majority of marine organisms are water-breathing ectotherms, temperature and dissolved oxygen are key environmental variables that influence their fitness and geographic distribution. In line with the temperature-size rule (TSR), marine ectotherms in warmer temperatures will grow to a smaller maximum body size, yet the extent to which different species experience this temperature-size response varies. Here, we analysed the maximum body length of ten teleost fish species in line with temperature, dissolved oxygen concentration and geographic location (that encompasses multiple latent variables), across a broad (26°) latitudinal gradient throughout Norwegian waters. Our results showed that the two largest study species, spotted wolffish (Anarhichas minor) and cusk (Brosme brosme), display the strongest negative temperature-size response. We also observed smaller maximum body lengths for multiple species within the coldest extent of their temperature range, as well as parabolic relationships between maximum length and temperature for Atlantic wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) and beaked redfish (Sebastes mentella). The smaller maximum body lengths for high latitude species at both warm and cold temperature extremes of species’ thermal ranges corroborate the temperature-size mechanisms of the gill-oxygen limitation theory (GOLT), whereby spontaneous protein denaturation limits growth at both warm and cold temperatures.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lavin CP, Gordo-Vilaseca C, Costello MJ, Shi Z, Stephenson F, Gruss A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Biology of Fishes

Year: 2022

Volume: 105

Issue: 10

Pages: 1415-1429

Print publication date: 01/10/2022

Online publication date: 21/05/2022

Acceptance date: 04/05/2022

Date deposited: 23/11/2023

ISSN (print): 0378-1909

ISSN (electronic): 1573-5133

Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media B.V.


DOI: 10.1007/s10641-022-01270-4


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
Nord University