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Size-dependent growth of individual Atlantic salmon Salmo salar alevins from hatch to first feeding

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Variation in egg size, hatch timing and size at hatch, and their influence on individual growth rates of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar alevins up to first feeding were examined in pure strain and hybrid crosses of fish from Scotland and Canada. At the intra-female, intra-cross type and inter-cross type levels, specific growth rates prior to first feed were strongly size dependent, with smaller and later hatching alevins growing significantly faster. The magnitude of this size-dependent growth was greatest in the hybrid crosses. This resulted in a 40% reduction in the coefficient of variation (c.v.) in alevin size from post-hatch to first feeding at the intra-female level, and a reduction of both intra- and inter-cross differences in alevin sizes in the same period.

Keywords: egg size; hatch timing; specific growth rate; yolk sac

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Marine Scotland – Science, Freshwater Laboratory, Faskally, Pitlochry, Scotland, PH16 5LB, U.K. 2: Zoology Department, Aberdeen University, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen, Scotland, AB24 2TZ, U.K. 3: Marine Scotland – Science, Marine Laboratory, Victoria Road, Aberdeen, Scotland, AB11 9DB, U.K.

Publication date: 2009-12-01

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