Appetite and growth compensation in the European minnow,Phoxinus phoxinus (Cyprinidae), following short periods of food restriction
- Cite this article as:
- Russell, N.R. & Wootton, R.J. Environ Biol Fish (1992) 34: 277. doi:10.1007/BF00004774
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Changes in the daily appetite and weekly growth rates of individual adult minnows,Phoxinus phoxinus, on ad libitum rations were recorded before and after they had experienced 4 or 16 days of food restriction. Feeding levels during the restriction periods were either starvation or a maintenance ration. The latter was estimated from a previously determined regression model. Water temperature was 15°C and the photoperiod 9L15D in all experiments. The mean weight of fish used ranged from 1.06 to 2.15 g. The 4 day restriction had no detectable effects on appetite or growth. After the 16 day restriction, the minnows showed hyperphagia and had increased specific growth rates and growth efficiencies compared with control fish. The compensatory increases in appetite and growth were not sustained and within three weeks had declined to levels not significantly different from those of the control fish. At the end of the experiments, there were no significant differences between the mean weights or cumulative food consumption of the restricted and control groups. The results suggest that adult minnows regulate their appetite and growth rate in relation to their previous nutritional history.