The effect of energetic condition on growth dynamics ...

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Title The effect of energetic condition on growth dynamics and health of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)
Author(s) J. D. Dutil, G. Godbout, P. U. Blier, David B. Groman
Journal Journal of Applied Ichthyology
Date 2006
Volume 22
Issue 2
Start page 138
End page 144
Abstract Prolonged starvation resulting in sublethal condition factor values was hypothesized to have a detrimental effect on short-term growth capacity upon refeeding. Cod (Gadus morhua) were food-deprived and their length and mass measured before refeeding and after 3, 6, 9 and 12 weeks of ad libitum feeding. Total mass increase during the first 3 weeks of feeding was greatest in fish with a higher initial condition factor. The reverse situation was observed during the last 3 weeks of feeding. Specific growth rate peaked in the period from week 4 to week 6, except in cod with the highest condition factor for which a steady decline in specific growth rate was observed, and was not influenced by the condition factor at the start of the feeding period. Total mass increase over 12 weeks was also not influenced by initial condition factor. Thus by the end of the experiment, condition factors were lowest in fish with initially low condition factors. The hepatosomatic index and gonadosomatic index did not differ at the end of the experiment, but the proportion of mature cod increased with increasing initial condition factor. A disease outbreak caused significant mortalities among fish shortly after the start of the feeding period. Forty-one percent of the fish had died after 84 days. No mortality was observed among fish that had started the experiment with the highest condition factor. Mortality was inversely related to initial condition factor. Growth was examined for survivors exclusively. Poor condition in wild fish may increase vulnerability to diseases and compensatory growth may not allow cod with low condition factors to fully recover unless food availability remains high over a long period of time..
DOI 10.1111/j.1439-0426.2006.00716.x
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