Thermal tolerance of Whiteleg Shrimp

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Critical thermal minima (CTMin) and maxima (CTMax) values were determined for the Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei post-larvae and juveniles at four different acclimation temperatures (15, 20, 25, and 30 °C). The CTMin of shrimp at these acclimation temperatures were 7.82, 8.95, 9.80, and 10.96 °C for post-larvae and 7.50, 8.20, 10.20, and 10.80 °C for juveniles, respectively, at 1 °C/h cooling rate. The CTMax values were 35.65, 38.13, 39.91, and 42.00 °C for post-larvae and 35.94, 38.65, 40.30, and 42.20 °C for juveniles at the respective acclimation temperatures. Both acclimation temperature and size of the shrimp affected CTMin values of L. vannamei (P<0.01). Overall, juveniles displayed significantly lower CTMin values than the post-larvae (P<0.0001). However, the CTMax response by post-larvae and juveniles were not significantly different from each other and no interaction was determined between the acclimation temperature and development stage (P<0.01). The area of the thermal tolerance polygon over four acclimation temperatures (15, 20, 25, and 30 °C) for the post-larvae of L. vannamei was calculated to be 434.94 °C. The acclimation response ratio (ARR) values were high ranging from 0.35 to 0.44 for both post-larvae and juveniles. L. vannamei appears to be more sensitive to low temperatures than other penaeid species and its cold tolerance zone ranged from 7.5 to 11 °C. In successful aquaculture temperature must never fall below 12 °C to prevent mortalities. Upper thermal tolerance is less of a problem as in most subtropical regions maximum water temperature rarely exceeds 34 °C, but care should be given if shallow ponds with low water renewal rate are being used.

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