The Ecology of Lifetime Growth in Percid Fishes

Abstract

The factors responsible for the lifetime growth patterns of percids in natural populations can provide meaningful insights for culture operations. Here, we present a summary of a number of well-studied factors and review the current state of knowledge. We illustrate an informative approach to describe lifetime growth of percid species by applying a biphasic growth model to European perch and pikeperch populations, and discuss life-history constraints considering biphasic growth. An evaluation of proposed hypotheses for proximate mechanisms of female-biased sexual size dimorphism in percids is presented, indicating that reduced feeding in males is the most parsimonious explanation given the current evidence. Growth rates in percids are strongly temperature-dependent, and show strong evidence of countergradient growth. Percids also show significant density-dependent growth, demonstrating twofold variation in individual growth rates. Predation, food availability and prey particle size can also affect the efficiency of percid growth. Parasitism and disease in percids are not as well studied as other factors reviewed here within an ecological context, but the reported effects on percid growth vary from negative to neutral to positive. Our review of drivers of natural variation in percid growth will assist culture operators with regards to broodstock selection, husbandry and maintenance of cultured percids.

Keywords

Percids Growth Broodstock selection Sex dimorphism Husbandry 

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyLakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada
  2. 2.Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation BiologyUniversity of Minnesota Twin CitiesSt. PaulUSA

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