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Compensatory growth in threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) inhibited by experimental Schistocephalus infections

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Abstract:

Compensatory growth responses are made by individual fish to restore their original growth trajectory following a period of growth depression. Little is known about whether diseases impact a fish's capacity for growth compensation. In this study we investigate the effect of Schistocephalus solidus, a common cestode parasite of threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus), on the ability of host fish to undertake growth compensation following short-term food deprivation. Placebo-infected controls completely compensated for a 2-week deprivation period after 3 weeks postdeprivation feeding, but experimentally infected sticklebacks showed only partial compensation and after 6 weeks of refeeding had attained only 80% of the weight of continually fed infected fish. A major factor limiting the compensatory growth response of infected fish was their reduced hyperphagic response during the period of refeeding. Feed deprivation had no effect on ultimate parasite size of infected fish. We discuss the possible mechanisms limiting hyperphagia in infected fish and consider the fitness implications — for parasites and hosts — of the reduced ability of infected fish to undertake compensatory growth responses.

Les réactions de croissance compensatoire servent chez les poissons individuels à rétablir leur trajectoire originale de croissance après un épisode de croissance réduite. On a peu d'information sur l'impact possible de la maladie sur la capacité d'un poisson de faire une croissance compensatoire. Dans notre travail, nous étudions l'effet de Schistocephalus solidus, un cestode parasite commun de l'épinoche à trois épines (Gasterosteus aculeatus), sur la capacité du poisson hôte de faire une croissance compensatoire après une courte période de privation de nourriture. Les poissons témoins à infection simulée compensent complètement une période de privation de nourriture de 2 semaines après 3 semaines d'alimentation suivant le jeûne; cependant, les épinoches infectées expérimentalement ne font qu'une compensation partielle et, au bout de 6 semaines après la reprise de l'alimentation, n'ont atteint que 80 % de la masse des poissons infectés nourris sans interruption. Une facteur important qui inhibe la réaction compensatrice chez les poissons infectés est la réduction de leur réaction d'hyperphagie durant la période de reprise de l'alimentation. La privation de nourriture n'a aucun effet sur la taille finale des parasites chez les poissons infectés. Nous discutons des mécanismes possibles de limitation de l'hyperphagie chez les poissons infectés et examinons les conséquences sur la fitness — tant chez les parasites que les hôtes — de la capacité réduite des poissons infectés à entreprendre des réactions de croissance compensatoire.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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