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Early chronic hypoxia does not impact rainbow trout behaviour later in life

Abstract : In trout aquaculture, tight control of water quality is crucial, especially for young life-history stages. This study examined whether chronic exposure to moderate hypoxia during the fry stage affects the rainbow trout’s behavior during later development. One month after yolk-sac resorption, young trout were exposed for 25 days to hypoxia, obtained by decreasing water flow and bubbling nitrogen gas into the tank (Hypoxia group, H: mean O2: 4.85 mg/L; min: 3.83, max: 6.87 mg/L). A control group was maintained in optimal conditions (C: mean O2: 10.41 mg/L; min: 10.12, max: 10.69 mg/L). At 4 days post-hypoxia, basal (resting) whole body cortisol levels were significantly higher in the H group (166.84 ± 20.67 ng/g) as compared to the C group (103.71 ± 8.78 ng/g), but no post-stress differences were evident (values ∼ 175 ng/g). Long-term effects of hypoxia on various behavioural traits were analysed between 3 and 4 months after the return to normoxia and compared to the C group. The exposure of fry to chronic hypoxia did not impact the fish’s behavioural repertoire (activity, stereotypic behaviour, aggression) in their home tanks after re-acclimation to normoxia. Moreover, basal and post-stress plasma cortisol levels, fear-related behaviours (novel-tank test), and risk-taking behaviours (emergence test) did not differ between the C and H groups. However, this early challenge resulted in an enhanced post-hypoxic growth rate in these fish. Our results show that early exposure to moderate hypoxia does not induce any behavioural changes in rainbow trout after several months of return to normoxia.
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Contributor : Maryse Corvaisier Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, September 10, 2020 - 11:52:34 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - 2:40:13 PM


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Claudiane Valotaire, Frédéric Borel, Christine Leterrier, Laurence L.A. Guilloteau, Violaine Colson. Early chronic hypoxia does not impact rainbow trout behaviour later in life. Aquaculture Reports, 2020, 18, pp.100454. ⟨10.1016/j.aqrep.2020.100454⟩. ⟨hal-02935360⟩



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