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The bioenergetics of density-dependent growth in Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus)

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We explored the mechanisms of density-dependent growth in Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) by comparing the energetics of growth, consumption, and activity obtained under three replicated density treatments in a large-scale enclosure (90 m2 surface area) experiment. The enclosures permitted the entry of zooplankton and allowed char to feed on the bottom and at the surface of the lake. We found a negative (power) relationship between growth and density. Char consumption rate decreased linearly with increasing density. Growth efficiency was affected by fish density in a similar manner as growth rate. Finally, activity increased with fish density and was particularly high at high densities. Our findings illustrate the complexity of the relationships among consumption, activity, growth rates, and fish density and bring further evidence to the possible involvement of behavioural mechanisms in density-dependent processes, notably by modulating activity costs with density.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Département de sciences biologiques, Université de Montréal, CP-6128 succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7 Canada. 2: Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Tungasletta 2, No-7485 Trondheim, Norway. 3: Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Fakkelgården, No-2624 Lillehammer, Norway. 4: Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL A1C 5S7 Canada. 5: Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Forskningsparken A/S, Gaustadalleén 21, No-0349 Oslo, Norway.

Publication date: 2012-10-05

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  • 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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