The influence of flume length and group size on swimming performance in shortnose sturgeon Acipenser brevirostrum

Authors

  • D. Deslauriers,

    1. Department of Biology and Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick, P. O. Box 5050, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L 4L5 Canada
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  • J. D. Kieffer

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biology and Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick, P. O. Box 5050, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L 4L5 Canada
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Tel.: +1 506 6485778; email: jkieffer@unb.ca

Abstract

The main objectives of this study were to determine optimal methodologies to assess the general swimming performance of juvenile shortnose sturgeon Acipenser brevirostrum. Swimming densities (group v. individual swimming) and flume length (2 v. 1 m) were altered to verify if any of those variables affected performance (i.e. time to fatigue) during critical swimming (Ucrit) and endurance tests. Results for both Ucrit and endurance swimming were not significantly different between fish swum in groups of five or fish swum individually. The Ucrit values, however, were c. 22% higher for fish swum in a longer flume. Although swimming fish in groups did not improve swimming performance, group swimming lowered the variance of the data. Results also reveal that juvenile A. brevirostrum may not possess an ability to swim at high speeds (i.e. burst phase) for long periods.

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