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Title: Relationships between otolith accretion, metabolism and somatic growth in three species of teleosts, Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.), haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus L.), pike
Author: Fallon-Cousins, P.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1999
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Otolith increments are used extensively to gain information on age and growth of fish. This is based on two fundamental assumptions. First, that the primary increments are produced at a known and constant periodically, and secondly, that the distance between the consecutive otolith increments is proportional to the growth of the fish. This study proposes to investigate the validity of the second assumption on a daily and weekly scale. There was a significant correlation between otolith size and fish size in Atlantic salmon (Salmo solar L.) and haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus L.). However, no correlation was found between somatic growth and otolith growth in individually measured yolk-sac haddock larvae or demersal juvenile haddock. This supports the suggestion that there is no functional relationship between otolith accretion rate and somatic growth rate. Different back-calculation models were employed to illustrate how this apparent 'uncoupling' of somatic growth and otolith growth can increase the error in size and age predictions. The possibility that there is a relationship between one or more components of metabolic rate and otolith accretion was investigated, in individual demersal juvenile haddock, Atlantic salmon, and pike (Esox, lucius L.). Variations in otolith daily increment width and somatic growth were compared with experimentally induced variations in resting metabolic rate, specific dynamic action (the increase in metabolism during digestion) and activity metabolism. Salmon and haddock were subjected to acute variations in temperature to vary resting metabolic rate. Pike were fed a single meal to elicit specific dynamic action. Activity levels in salmon were manipulated by exploiting the territoriality of salmon in a fluvial aquarium. An experimental change in resting metabolic rate resulted in a change in increment width that was uncoupled from somatic growth. Metabolic rate and increment width increased simultaneously after feeding in pike. In both experiments there was a less than isometric relationship between the two parameters. No correlation was found between increment width and the activity level of salmon.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available