Duration of effects of acute environmental changes on food anticipatory behaviour, feed intake, oxygen consumption, and cortisol release in Atlantic salmon parr.

Abstract

We compared behavioural and physiological responses and recovery time after different acute environmental challenges in groups of salmon parr. The fish were prior to the study conditioned to a flashing light signalling arrival of food 30 s later to study if the strength of Pavlovian conditioned food anticipatory behaviour can be used to assess how salmon parr cope with various challenges. The effect on anticipatory behaviour was compared to the effect on feed intake and physiological responses of oxygen hyper-consumption and cortisol excretion. The challenges were temperature fluctuation (6.5C° over 4 h), hyperoxia (up to 380% O(2) saturation over 4 h), and intense chasing for 10 min. Cortisol excretion was only elevated after hyperoxia and chasing, and returned to baseline levels after around 3 h or less. Oxygen hyper-consumption persisted for even shorter periods. Feed intake was reduced the first feeding after all challenges and recovered within 3 h after temperature and hyperoxia, but was reduced for days after chasing. Food anticipatory behaviour was reduced for a longer period than feed intake after hyperoxia and was low at least 6 h after chasing. Our findings suggest that a recovery of challenged Atlantic salmon parr to baseline levels of cortisol excretion and oxygen consumption does not mean full recovery of all psychological and physiological effects of environmental challenges, and emphasise the need for measuring several factors including behavioural parameters when assessing fish welfare.

DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.07.015

Cite this paper

@article{Folkedal2012DurationOE, title={Duration of effects of acute environmental changes on food anticipatory behaviour, feed intake, oxygen consumption, and cortisol release in Atlantic salmon parr.}, author={Ole Folkedal and Thomas Torgersen and Rolf Olsen and Anders Fern{\"{o} and Jonatan Nilsson and Frode Oppedal and Lars Helge Stien and Tore S. Kristiansen}, journal={Physiology & behavior}, year={2012}, volume={105 2}, pages={283-91} }