The temporal dynamics of appetite (weight of food consumed per day) were analysed for fish fed to satiation after a 1 or 2-week period of feed deprivation. Three species were compared: two omnivores (minnow, Phoxinus phoxinus and gibel carp, Carassius auratus gibelio) and a carnivore (three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus). All species showed compensatory changes in appetite and growth during the re-feeding period but in the stickleback, there was a lag of a week before the compensatory response was detected. The temporal dynamics of appetite differed between the three species but not within a species. Appetite of the minnow declined towards control levels from the onset of re-feeding. In gibel carp, appetite increased to a peak and then declined to control levels. In the stickleback, appetite was initially below control levels, increased to a maximum, then declined towards control levels. The differences between the species might have been artefacts of the experimental protocols used but could also reflect underlying differences in the control of appetite in these species of fish.
- feed deprivation
- gibel carp