|How should salinity influence fish growth?|In: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part C. Toxicology and Pharmacology. Elsevier: New York, NY. ISSN 1532-0456, more
Fish growth; Metabolism; Energetic cost; Osmoregulation; Oxygen consumption; Salinity, Growth hormonal control
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Development and growth (continuous in fish) are controlled by ‘internal factors’ including CNS, endocrinological and neuroendocrinological systems. Among vertebrates, they also are highly dependent on environmental conditions. Among other factors, many studies have reported an influence of water salinity on fish development and growth. In most species, egg fertilization and incubation, yolk sac resorption, early embryogenesis, swimbladder inflation, larval growth are dependent on salinity. In larger fish, salinity is also a key factor in controlling growth. Do the changes in growth rate, that depend on salinity, result from an action on: (1) standard metabolic rate; (2) food intake; (3) food conversion; and/or (4) hormonal stimulation? Better growth at intermediate salinities (8–20 psu) is very often, but not systematically, correlated to a lower standard metabolic rate. Numerous studies have shown that 20 to >50% of the total fish energy budget are dedicated to osmoregulation. However, recent ones indicate that the osmotic cost is not as high (roughly 10%) as this. Data are also available in terms of food intake and stimulation of food conversion, which are both dependent on the environmental salinity. Temperature and salinity have complex interactions. Many hormones are known to be active in both osmoregulation and growth regulation, e.g. in the control of food intake. All of these factors are reviewed. As often, multiple causality is likely to be at work and the interactive effects of salinity on physiology and behaviour must also be taken into account.