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Intra-specific effects of sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus) with reference to stocking density and body size

Dong, Shuanglin, Liang, Miao, Gao, Qinfeng, Wang, Fang, Dong, Yunwei, Tian, Xiangli
Aquaculture research 2010 v.41 no.8 pp. 1170-1178
Apostichopus japonicus, aggression, animal growth, body size, body weight, crude protein, energy, excretion, ingestion, lipid content, specific growth rate, stocking rate
The present studies deal with the intra-specific effects of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus with unlimited food resources, especially the effects of stocking density on growth variation of the animal and energetic changes of small individuals under the stress of large individuals. The results showed that with the initial body weight of 5.12±0.09-6.11±0.26 g of sea cucumber among the densities of 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 ind./100 L, the density of 20 ind./100 L was the optimum stocking density because of its highest specific growth rate, crude protein content and crude lipid content in tissue. Individual growth variation of A. japonicus increased with the increase of stocking densities, whereas no significant differences in variation were found when the density was over 30 ind./100 L (P>0.05). The low-weight individuals under the stress of heavy-weight individuals exhibited obvious changes in energetics, such as lower ingestion rate, lower energy deposited as growth but higher respiration and excretion. The coefficient of variation in growth of the animals was over 70% due to the simultaneous action of aggression and maybe a factor of chemical mediator, and led to significant changes in the energetics of small-sized individuals.