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Energy allocation in juvenile sablefish: effects of temperature, ration and body size

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The lipid deposition of juvenile sablefish Anoplopoma fimbria was examined, in particular, the changes in allocation over time. Growth rates of early juveniles (initial size 36–50 mm total length, LT) were manipulated using two temperatures (10 and 20° C) and two rations (ad libitum and 3–4% body mass day−1). Fish LT, mass and lipid content were measured every 3 weeks for 15 weeks. Irrespective of treatment, the relationship of total lipid content with body size was clearly hyperallometric; small juveniles allocated relatively more energy to growth and less to lipid storage than large juveniles. After adjusting for the influence of body size, temperature and ration significantly influenced body composition but these effects varied over the course of the experiment. In the first 3 week time period, fish on the high ration, high temperature treatment had reduced lipid storage relative to other treatments, but in all subsequent time periods their lipid concentrations were similar to or higher than those of fish on other treatments. In contrast, fish held at low rations and low temperatures initially had average levels of lipid concentration, but after 6 weeks their levels were lower than other treatments. Estimation of allocation to lipid storage over time (proportion of dry mass increase comprised of lipid) suggested that fish in all of the treatments were approaching an asymptotic level of lipid concentration (c. 50–60% of dry mass) but with different rates of lipid increase. Within a treatment, it was predicted that individual differences in allocation would result in trade‐offs between somatic growth and storage. This trade‐off was evident only for fish held on low rations at low temperatures. In contrast, fish held on high rations at high temperatures exhibited the opposite pattern of a positive correlation between somatic growth and storage. These results suggest that lipostatic regulation of appetite is unlikely in juvenile sablefish. When resources are unlimited, this species appears to adopt a maximizing strategy for both somatic growth and lipid accumulation.

Keywords: bioenergetics; growth; lipid storage; trade‐offs

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, 2030 Marine Science Dr., Newport, OR 97 365, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2004-03-01

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