Physiological correlates of seasonal growth patterns in lake trout Salvelinus namaycush
Physiological correlates of seasonal growth patterns were measured in lake trout Salvelinus namaycush from two populations with contrasting diets (zooplankton-dominated diet in Louisa Lake; fish-dominated diet in Opeongo Lake). Fish in Opeongo Lake grew faster and were in better condition than fish in Louisa Lake. The most prominent biochemical difference between populations was higher citrate synthase (CS) and cytochrome c oxidase activity in the white muscle of fish from Opeongo Lake, indicating greater sustained swimming activity in this lake. In contrast, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity in white muscle, an indicator of capacity for burst swimming, was similar between lakes. Nucleoside diphosphate kinase (NDPK) activity in white muscle, an indicator of protein synthesis, was higher in Opeongo Lake than in Louisa Lake but only in the autumn. In both lakes, protein concentration and therefore nutritional status increased as the growing season progressed from spring to summer to autumn. Biochemical indicators of growth and activity showed similar seasonal patterns in the two lakes with the spring characterized by high NDPK, high CS and high LDH activities (i.e. high levels of protein synthesis in association with high aerobic and anaerobic activities). These results suggest high foraging effort and allocation to growth early in the growing season in both lakes.
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