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Why are fish in the Baltic Sea so small?: A study of somatic and gonad growth in relation to salinity in turbot (Scophthalmus maximus)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Biology Education Centre.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

It has been shown that fish of both marine and limnetic origin display increased growth at intermediate salinities. Furthermore, it has been shown that fish in the brackish water Baltic Sea are smaller compared to their conspecifics in the Atlantic, where salinities are higher. Also, it has been suggested that fish produce more eggs at the edges of their distribution range as a response to inferior environmental conditions. In this study, I investigated if there is a trade-off in energy investment between somatic and gonad growth in relation to salinity. To do this, I performed a growth experiment and a literature review. In the growth experiment, juvenile turbot were reared in salinities of 6, 10.5, 15 and 30 ‰. I found that turbot juveniles from Gotland grew equally well in all salinities investigated. In the literature review, data from the Baltic Sea was tested against data from the North and Black Seas. Data of turbot total energy investment (somatic and gonad growth) was analyzed. I found that energy content at age differed significantly between the populations investigated with lower energy content for the Baltic Sea populations. Also, growth rate in relation to energy content (size) was analyzed for the different populations, but no difference for growth rate in relation to energy content occurred. The result of the analysis of growth rate indicates that the change in allocated energy is the same, regardless of population, and thus that fish from the Baltic Sea display growth rates similar to those of other populations. It was also established that energy investment in gonads increased along with decreasing salinities. The smaller size of turbot in the Baltic Sea is therefore probably the result of a difference in size at maturity, possibly because less energy is allocated to somatic growth and more energy to start producing eggs. It is probably also the consequence of that the Baltic Sea turbot, post sexual maturity, continue to invest more energy in egg production.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 31 p.
Keyword [en]
Turbot, salinity, growth, reproduction, growth rate, energy allocation, energy investment
Keyword [sv]
Piggvar, salthalt, tillväxt, reproduktion, tillväxthastighet, energifördelning, energiinvestering
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-230310OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-230310DiVA: diva2:739983
Available from: 2014-08-22 Created: 2014-08-22 Last updated: 2016-01-26Bibliographically approved

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The full text will be freely available from 2016-12-31 12:00
Available from 2016-12-31 12:00

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