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Keywords:

  • Senegalese sole;
  • stocking density;
  • individual growth;
  • social hierarchy

Abstract

To assess how initial size dispersion affects Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis, Kaup) growth, 128 fish were stocked either under homogeneous (HOM) or heterogeneous (HET) initial size dispersion (standard length, CV 11.8% and 29.7% respectively), and also under low (LD) and high (HD) stocking density (60% and 180% of bottom occupation). After 105 days, growth parameters, evaluated at an individual level using linear mixed-effects models, were not significantly affected by initial size dispersion, LD fish growing significantly faster than HD fish. Variance of individual growth rate distributions of weight and standard length were lowest for LD-HOM fish, indicating the most regular growth, and highest for LD-HET. The diminution of the coefficient of variation along time in HET groups (between 13% and 15.4% for weight, and between 4.3% and 5.8% for standard length), and its slight decrease in the HOM groups (between 1% and 3% for both parameters), is consistent with the absence of strong competition between individuals.