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Title: The influence of sex and environmental temperature on the acute stress response of juvenile yellow perch Perca flavescens

item Spear, Allyn
item PAUL, TIMOTHY - Us Forest Service (FS)
item LEAMAN, DOUGLAS - University Of Toledo
item VIJAYAN, MATHILAKATH - University Of Calgary
item STEPIEN, CAROL - University Of Toledo
item Shepherd, Brian

Submitted to: Proceeding of World Aquaculture Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/26/2015
Publication Date: 2/22/2016
Citation: Spear, A., Paul, T., Leaman, D., Vijayan, M.M., Stepien, C.A., Shepherd, B.S. 2016. The influence of sex and environmental temperature on the acute stress response of juvenile yellow perch Perca flavescens [abstract]. Proceeding of World Aquaculture Society. p. 13.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Yellow perch are an ecologically and economically important fish in North America. At its peak, the Great Lakes yellow perch fishery constituted the largest inland capture fishery in North America. Even though wild populations have declined, consumer demand for yellow perch remains high, which has the driven interest in yellow perch aquaculture. Although female yellow perch grow faster and larger than males, and methods exist for generating all-female yellow perch progeny, efforts to utilize all-female perch in a production setting may result in unforeseen issues. Consequently, a greater understanding of the sex-specific physiological differences must be obtained. We hypothesized that there are differences in how juvenile male and female yellow perch, that are held in constant temperatures 15 degrees Celsius, 18 degrees Celsius, 21 degrees Celsius or a 15-21 degrees Celsius diel fluctuating temperature regimen, respond to a 5 minute stressor. Groups of juvenile male and female subjected to a 5 minute stressor, and sub-groups of individuals (equal numbers of male and female) were sampled at 0 hr (pre-stress), 0.5 hr, 2 hr and 6 hr post-stress. Individuals were assessed for physiological measures of stress by determining plasma cortisol, glucose, osmolality and hematocrit. Thermal treatments significantly influenced all measured parameters (cortisol, glucose, osmolality and hematocrit), and sex had a significant influence on basal levels of plasma cortisol and glucose, with higher levels occurring in females. Plasma cortisol levels peaked at 0.5 hr post stress in all thermal treatments and reached pre-stress levels by 6 hr post-stress. Plasma glucose followed a similar pattern, but a return to pre-stress levels was delayed in animals held at the 15 degrees Celsius constant temperature. Plasma osmolality was also affected by temperature with higher levels occurring in animals held at higher temperatures. Following the 5 minute stressor, plasma osmolality levels decreased in all groups and only returned to pre-stress levels in the constant 15 degrees Celsius and 18 degrees Celsius groups. Plasma hematocrit levels were influenced by holding temperature, with highest levels occurring in those animals held at the 21 degrees Celsius constant temperature. These results show that a brief handling stressor and environmental temperature influence key markers for stress (cortisol and glucose) as well as important hematological parameters (osmolality and hematocrit). Collectively, these findings demonstrate differences in the stress response of female yellow perch, and emphasize that fish culturists should utilize husbandry practices that reduce disturbances to the animals and allow for adequate recovery time for animals between periods of disturbance to enable optimal performance.