Aquat. Living Resour.
Volume 24, Number 1, January-March 2011
|Page(s)||53 - 61|
|Published online||17 March 2011|
Self-feeding behavior changes induced by a first and a second generation of domestication or selection for growth in the European sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax
Ifremer, Place Gaby Coll, BP 7, 17137
2 Ifremer, Station expérimentale d’aquaculture, chemin de Maguelone, 34250 Palavas-les-Flots, France
a Corresponding author:
Accepted: 4 February 2011
Among the strategies that can be used to improve fish welfare in a rearing environment, domestication and/or selective breeding was proposed to minimize fish responsiveness to husbandry practices. To verify this hypothesis on a recently domesticated species, the sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax, two experiments were realized, each using two populations differing according to their level of domestication or selection. For the first experiment, we used one population produced from wild parents (Wild; initial body mass: 106 ± 3 g), and one population from parents selected for growth for one generation (Selected 1; initial body mass: 129 ± 4 g). For the second experiment, we used one population produced from parents domesticated for two generations (Domesticated; initial body mass: 72 ± 3 g), and one produced from parents selected for growth for two generations (Selected 2; initial body mass: 89 ± 4 g). The first experiment was carried out over 112 days with 240 fish (60 fish per tank, 120 fish per population), and the second one over 84 days with 200 fish (50 fish per tank, 100 fish per population). Two variables, self-feeding behavior and growth performance, were measured over the time of the experiments. After a control period, the fish were submitted twice, at three-week intervals, to an acute stress treatment consisting of draining the tank and leaving the fish out of water for one minute. Both self-feeding behavior and growth performance were altered by the acute stress treatment. During the first post-stress period, the Domesticated and Selected (1 and 2) groups showed more pronounced post-stress exposure responses than the Wild fish: they modified their feeding rhythm, their feed intake, and their growth rate. During the second post-stress period, feeding rhythm was still affected (being more diurnal with a well defined peak), but the feed intake and growth rate results showed that the Domesticated and Wild groups seemed less affected than the Selected (1 and 2) populations, which continued to express a high post-stress response.
According to these results, it can be concluded that: (1) an application of two acute stress treatments, at three-week intervals, modified fish feeding behavior and growth performance; (2) the domestication process seemed to improve fish adaptation abilities to this kind of stress; and (3) the process of selection for growth led to a final, better growth, but did not seem to improve fish acute stress tolerance.
Key words: Feed intake / Feeding rhythm / Specific growth rate / Adaptation capacities / Fish welfare
© EDP Sciences, IFREMER, IRD 2011
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