Automation and critical evaluation of an annular chamber for aquatic ectotherm temperature preference experiments
Article first published online: 2 APR 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Methods in Ecology and Evolution © 2013 British Ecological Society
Methods in Ecology and Evolution
Volume 4, Issue 6, pages 531–541, June 2013
How to Cite
Reiser, S., Temming, A., Eckhardt, A., Herrmann, J.-P. (2013), Automation and critical evaluation of an annular chamber for aquatic ectotherm temperature preference experiments. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 4: 531–541. doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12045
- Issue published online: 7 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 2 APR 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 6 MAR 2013 11:27AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Received: 10 DEC 2012
- Cluster of Excellence ‘Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction’ (CliSAP) of the University of Hamburg
- brown shrimp;
- climate change;
- thermal preference;
- Wadden Sea
- Annular chambers represent a novel approach for thermal preference experiments in aquatic ectothermic organisms. Most approaches using annular chambers so far lack automation in data recording and analysis, making temperature preference experiments laborious and time consuming.
- Here, we describe the design and construction of a modified version of an annular chamber system. We conducted extensive tests to improve the systems' functionality and confirm accuracy of the thermal gradient. Additionally, we present an automated matlab routine for data recording and analysis of temperature preference experiments using the common brown shrimp (Crangon crangon, L.) as a test organism. Using this automated routine, we performed an in silico comparison of different thermal gradient representations with various complexities to test for the effect of temperature resolution on the accuracy of thermal preference estimates.
- The here presented annular chamber produced a stable thermal gradient of ∆23 °C, ranging between 3 and 25 °C. Automated recording and data analysis facilitated implementation of long-term experiments and allowed the collection of highly resolved preference data. The in silico comparison revealed a more accurate specification of the preference zone with increasing resolution of the temperature gradient. With regard to spatial resolution of the thermal gradient and assignment of position and temperature data, the in silico comparison demonstrated previous approaches to be inappropriate for benthic and passive species.
- We present guidelines for annular chamber construction and automation of data analysis in these systems, making annular chambers more handy and applicable for a wide range of preference studies. Besides its use for experiments in annular chambers, the principle of the here presented automated matlab routine can be applied to a wide range of behavioural and preference studies.