Journal : Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A , vol. 141 , p. 353–358–6 , 2005
Publisher : Elsevier
International Standard Numbers
Printed : 1095-6433
Electronic : 1531-4332
Publication type : Academic article
Issue : 3
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Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis) is a promising aquaculture candidate, but the growth performance of this non-domesticated species may be negatively affected by its stress responsiveness to intensive culture conditions. To evaluate this potential problem, juvenile Eurasian perch were exposed to a standardized handling stressor twice a week for an 8-week period. A similar study was conducted on domesticated rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) for comparison of intra- and inter-specific differences. The stressed fish of both species showed lower body growth than the non-stressed control fish, however, the final mean body mass was 35.4% lower in the stressed Eurasian perch than in the non-stressed controls, compared to 22.8% difference between the two groups in rainbow trout. The stress responsiveness was examined by comparing the post-stress cortisol and glucose levels in repeatedly stressed fish and fish exposed to the stressor only once. The cortisol stress response in both species strongly indicated a habituation to the repeated stressor. Thus, repeatedly stressed Eurasian perch reached maximum cortisol levels of 130 ng/mL after 0.5 h compared to 200 ng/mL in the fish stressed once, while considerably smaller differences in cortisol levels were shown between the repeatedly and single stressed rainbow trout. Rainbow trout also showed lower post-stress glucose levels in the repeatedly stressed fish compared to the single stressed fish. In contrast, the glucose levels in both groups of Eurasian perch increased abruptly after stress treatment and remained elevated at approximately 19 mM for 6 h; levels were three times as high as the peak levels 3 h post-stress in rainbow trout. Together, the habituation of the stress response shown in both species did not eliminate the growth difference found in the repeatedly stressed fish versus the control fish. Further, the lower growth performance of Eurasian perch compared to rainbow trout could partly be due to the increased energy consumption in the more stress responsive Eurasian perch.