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Keywords:

  • cultivated offspring;
  • wild offspring growth;
  • temperature optimum;
  • Salvelinus alpinus

Abstract

The effects of three different temperatures on the growth and maturation of the offspring of cultured versus wild populations of juvenile arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus L.) were investigated. The fish (start weight 17 g) were reared for 5 months at constant temperatures of 12, 14 and 16°C under a continuous light regime (LD24:0). Growth performance was significantly influenced by both temperature and source population. The offspring from the farmed fish displayed significantly higher mean weights at all temperatures compared with the offspring from the wild fish. The results indicate that the optimal temperature for growth (Topt) decreases with increasing fish size in the offspring of both cultivated and wild fish. Significant differences in length–weight relationship were found, with the offspring of wild fish displaying higher condition factor throughout the experiment. The results demonstrate that the offspring from multiple generation farmed population of arctic charr are better adapted to high temperatures compared with the offspring (F1 generation) from a wild population of arctic charr, and the former are also able to maintain growth at higher temperatures. There was a significant difference in maturation between the two populations, as the offspring from cultured fish displayed significantly lower level of maturation: 0%, 4% and 2% mature compared with 24%, 40% and 42% in the offspring from wild fish at temperatures of 12, 14 and 16°C respectively. The offspring from farmed strains of arctic charr thus appear to be the most suitable population for aquaculture.