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Starvation and low feeding levels result in an enrichment of 13C in lipids and 15N in protein of Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus L.

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Abstract:

The influence of different feeding levels below and slightly above maintenance on whole body 13C and 15N values of Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus was examined. The energy budget of each fish was determined by indirect calorimetry. The 13C values of the lipid-free material of Nile tilapia fed below and slightly above maintenance level did not differ between the feeding groups, but the 13C values in the lipids and the 15N values of the lipid-free material showed small but significant differences. Those fish with a negative lipid retention had significantly higher 13C values in the lipid fraction compared to fish that synthesized fatty acids. There was a significant negative correlation between the amount of energy metabolized by the fish and both the 13C values in the lipids and the 15N values of the lipid-free material. Fasting and feeding below the maintenance level may influence the isotopic composition of animals and should therefore be considered in ecological and nutritional studies.

Keywords: fasting; nutritional physiology; respirometry; 13C; 15N

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2007.01469.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of Aquaculture Systems and Animal Nutrition in the Tropics and Subtropics, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany 2: Institute for Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, Georg-August University Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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