Swimming performance and behaviour of young-of-the-year shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) under fixed and increased velocity swimming tests
Abstract:Swimming performance and behaviour in fish has been shown to vary depending on the investigation method. In this study, an endurance swimming curve was generated for young-of-the-year shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum LeSueur, 1818) (~7 cm total length, ~2 g) and compared with values determined in a separate incremental swimming (critical swimming, U crit) test. Using video, tail-beat frequency (TBF) was quantified and compared for fish swimming under both swimming tests. From the endurance-curve analysis, it was found that sturgeon did not display a statistically significant burst swimming phase. Maximum sustainable swimming speed (calculated to be 18.00 cm·s–1) from the endurance curve occurred at ~80% of U crit (22.30 cm·s–1). TBF was similar at all speeds for both swimming tests, except at speeds approaching U crit, where fish displayed TBFs of 4.29 Hz for the endurance protocol and 2.26 Hz for the U crit protocol. TBF was more variable between individuals swimming at the same speed within the U crit compared with the endurance protocol. Finally, a significant negative correlation was found between TBF and U crit in individual fish, suggesting that station-holding may be an important energy saving strategy during swimming in this size class of sturgeon.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology and Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, NB E2L 4L5, Canada. 2: Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, NB E2L 4L5, Canada.
Publication date: 2012-03-01
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