Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 511–520 | Cite as

Effect of stocking density on growth and serum concentrations of thyroid hormones and cortisol in Amur sturgeon, Acipenser schrenckii

  • Dapeng LiEmail author
  • Zidong Liu
  • Congxin Xie


This study investigated the effects of different stocking densities on growth and serum concentrations of thyroid hormones and cortisol in Amur sturgeon, Acipenser schrenckii. Fish were reared at low, medium, and high stocking densities (initial experimental densities were 0.30, 0.75, and 1.78 kg m−2, respectively) for 70 days. The results showed that high stocking density had negative effects on growth and feeding efficiency, and altered serum levels of thyroid hormones and cortisol in Amur sturgeon. A significant decrease in specific growth rate was observed as stocking density was increased. The feeding rate decreased significantly in the medium and high density groups, indicating that high stocking density reduced the food consumption of sturgeon. Food conversion ratio increased with increasing stocking density, suggesting that high stocking density might inhibit fish growth through decreasing food conversion efficiency. Serum concentrations of total triiodothyronine, free thyroxine, and free triiodothyronine were inversely related to stocking densities, whereas serum total thyroxine level of sturgeon stocked at different densities remained stable. Also, higher stocking density resulted in an elevation of serum cortisol level, indicating that the sturgeon stocked at the higher density experienced density-dependent physiological stress. These results suggest growth suppression caused by high stocking density might be related to both crowding stress and the declines in peripheral circulating levels of thyroid hormones, as well as associated with the reductions in both food consumption and food conversion efficiency.


Sturgeon Stocking density Thyroid hormone Growth Stress 



We are grateful for the helpful suggestions of two referees. This study was supported by the National Natural Foundation of China (Project no. 30970529), the Eleventh 5-Year National Key Science and Technology Research Program of China (Project no. 2007BAD37B05-03), and National Department Public Benefit Research Foundation of China (201003076).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of FisheriesHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation and Utilization of Ministry of AgricultureWuhanChina

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