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How to improve foraging efficiency for restocking measures of juvenile Baltic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus)
- Maria Cámara-Ruiz, Carlos Espirito Santo, Joern Gessner, Sven Wuertz
- Aquaculture 2019 v.502 pp. 12-17
- Acipenser oxyrinchus, Chironomidae, brain, foraging, gene expression, gene expression regulation, hatcheries, juveniles, rearing, sand, sturgeon, tanks
- Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus), also known as Baltic sturgeon, is considered missing or extinct in German waters. Current conservation efforts focus on re-stocking activities, but classical hatchery rearing may reduce the fitness of the respective juveniles. In this study, we evaluated if foraging efficiency can be improved by short term training. Over a period of 14 d, we kept individuals of the training group in a raceway and fed them chironomids buried in a small sand spot to stimulate benthic feeding behavior while fish of the control group were fed in tanks without substrate. Thereafter, each fish was transferred to a raceway entirely covered with sand. For feeding, chironomids were randomly buried in the sand. During the first 7 days, trained fish recovered the feed significantly faster than untrained fish of the control group. Gene expression revealed an up-regulation in neurod1 in all brain regions after 14 d of training. Thus, this study suggests that foraging efficiency can be improved through short-time training thus improve fitness upon restocking into the wild.