Plasticity in response to feed availability - does feeding regime influence the relative growth performance of domesticated, wild and hybrid Atlantic salmon Salmo salar parr?

A. C. Harvey, M. F. Solberg, K. A. Glover, M. I. Taylor, S. Creer, G. R. Carvalho

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Growth of farmed, wild and F1 hybrid Atlantic salmon parr, Salmo salar, was investigated under three contrasting feeding regimes in order to understand how varying levels of food availability affects relative growth. Treatments consisted of standard hatchery feeding (ad libitum), access to feed for 4h every day, and access to feed for 24h on three alternate days weekly. Mortality was low in all treatments, and food availability had no effect on survival of all groups. The offspring of farmed S. salar significantly outgrew the wild S. salar, while hybrids displayed intermediate growth. Furthermore, the relative growth differences between the farmed and wild S. salar did not change across feeding treatments, indicating a similar plasticity in response to feed availability. Although undertaken in a hatchery setting, these results suggest that food availability may not be the sole driver behind the observed reduced growth differences found between farmed and wild fishes under natural conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1754–1768
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Issue number3
Early online date27 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016


  • Escapees
  • Farmed
  • Food availability
  • Genetic interaction
  • Hybridisation
  • Reaction norms

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