The consequences of short-term cortisol elevation on individual physiology and growth rate in wild largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides)

Constance M. O'Connor, Kathleen M. Gilmour, Robert Arlinghaus, Shuichi Matsumura, Cory D. Suski, David P. Philipp, Steven J. Cooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this study, we explored the growth, survival, and potential population-level effects of short-term experimentally induced stress in largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). Cortisol implants [50 mg.(kgbody mass)(-1)] were used to increase circulating stress hormones in a group of wild fish in a research lake for similar to 6 d in June 2007. Through mark-and-recapture, we compared survival, growth, and plasma biochemistry of cortisol-treated, sham-treated, and control fish at liberty until October 2007. Cortisol-treated fish displayed persistent growth rate depression compared with other groups. However, neither plasma biochemistry nor mortality rates differed among treatments. In a complementary study, we found that the standard metabolic rates (SMR) of cortisol-treated fish were higher than control fish similar to 56 h following treatment Bioenergetics modelling revealed that a transient elevation in SMR alone was insufficient to explain the observed growth depression. Finally, we constructed a simple population model to explore the potential consequences of growth depression. We found that a 10% reduction in population growth rate is conceivable when 39% of the population experiences a stress causing the growth rate depression documented in this study. Our study is novel in highlighting that individual and potentially population-level growth depression can result from a single stress event of short duration.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693--705
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Volume68
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

Keywords

  • INHS

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