Does timing of daily feeding affect growth rates of juvenile three-spined sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus L?

Robert J. Wootton, Muhammad Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

To assess the consequences of unpredictability in the availability of food, this study measured the effect of timing of the daily feeding on food consumption and growth rates of juvenile Gasterosteus aculeatus. The experiment lasted 21 days at 14 °C and a photoperiod of 10 hours of light and 14 hours of dark. Fish were housed individually and allocated at random to three treatments. The mean initial weight of fish was 0.402 g. Group 1 were fed live enchytraeid worms for 2 h after lights came on ('morning'), group 2 was offered food for 2 h randomly at any time of the day ('random') during the light period and group 3 received food for 2 h before the lights went off ('evening'). There was no significant effect of timing of feeding on mean daily food consumption, which was 0.052 g day−1. Daily consumption on the random schedule was more irregular than on the two fixed schedules. Timing of feeding had no significant effect on mean specific growth rate (G) (2.42% day−1), gross growth efficiency (23.3%), white muscle RNA:DNA ratio (5.6), carcase lipid content (31.7% dry wt) and carcase dry matter content (27.4% wet wt). Thus, a lack of predictability in the availability of food during the light period of the day did not impose a detectable cost on the growth performance of the stickleback.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-131
Number of pages5
JournalEcology of Freshwater Fish
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2001

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