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Parental stress-coping styles affect the behaviour of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss at early developmental stages

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This work examined behavioural responses in yolk-sac rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss larvae originating from strains selected for high (HR) or low (LR) plasma cortisol response to a standardized stressor. The results showed that yolk-sac larvae originating from the HR strain were more sensitive to environmental stressors, in that they showed a shorter reaction time to low oxygen levels. Previous studies on adult and juvenile individuals from these strains demonstrated a number of correlated physiological and behavioural differences. In yolk-sac larvae, growth and development depended mainly on internal factors, which suggest that at least some aspects of stress-coping styles are inherent to the individual, before factors such as social experience or variable access to food resources could modify behavioural strategy.

Keywords: development; fish; heritability; personality; plasticity; teleost

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P. O. Box 5003 Ås, Norway 2: NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology Lancaster, Lancaster Environment Centre, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4AP, U.K.

Publication date: 2008-11-01

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