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Data for: Comparative thermal performance among four young-of-the-year temperate reef fish species

Cite this dataset

Schaal, Sara M.; Lotterhos, Katie E. (2021). Data for: Comparative thermal performance among four young-of-the-year temperate reef fish species [Dataset]. Dryad.


Identifying the role of temperature on species-specific performance is critical for predicting how species will  respond to temperature increases expected under climate change. We compared thermal performance of two sympatric Pacific rockfish species complexes (controls for relatedness and geographic location) that vary in larval life-history traits associated with different oceanographic regimes including temperature during early life-history stages: the BY complex (Black: Sebastes melanops, Yellowtail: S. flavidus) and the CQ complex (Copper: S. caurinus, Quillback: S. maliger). By using controlled  experiments, we evaluated foraging activity, growth and survival of young-of-the-year (YOY) rockfish recruits under current and future habitat temperatures over a 14-day time period indicative of marine heatwave events expected with climate change. BY rockfish displayed a heat-intolerant behavior by only foraging at temperatures within current habitat temperatures, whereas the CQ rockfish displayed a heat-tolerant behavior by actively foraging at temperatures above current and future predicted temperatures for a limited time. Although growth and survival in each species significantly declined with temperature, the magnitude of the effect did not vary between species. Taken together, our results show that rockfish are capable of using different behavioral strategies to cope with warming, and may be differentially impacted by future climate conditions.

Usage notes

All data files, R scripts and raw image and video files are provided in this zip file. Fish images that were used for a measurement are recorded in the Photo_Name column of the Fish_Measurement_Data_File. All videos for identifying foraging activity rates are provided. All videos were watched by two viewers and scored twice by each viewer and those data are provided in 20171129_AcivityData file.