Citation Ross L (2000) Environmental physiology and energetics. In: Beveridge M & McAndrew B (eds.) Tilapias: Biology and Exploitation. Fish and Fisheries Series, 25. Amsterdam: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 89-128. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-011-4008-9_4
Abstract The tilapias are extremely successful fishes and this success is largely due to their robustness, tolerance, flexibility and overall plasticity. This plasticity of growth, reproductive and developmental processes is evident from their well-known diversification and radiation into available niches, and is characterized by a remarkable physiological hardiness, adaptability and general levels of tolerance to most potentially limiting environmental variables. Although essentially freshwater species, many tilapias are euryhaline and so can be cultured in fresh, brackish or salt water. While they are not cold tolerant, they are eurythermal over a wide range, and this only limits their distribution to tropical, sub-tropical and warm temperate climates. They also have a strong reputation for tolerance of low dissolved oxygen (DO) and are quite resistant to reasonable physical handling, more so than most other fishes.