Photoperiod effects on precocious maturation, growth and smoltification in Atlantic salmon,
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Berrill, IK and Porter, MJR and Smart, A and Mitchell, D and Bromage, NR, Photoperiod effects on precocious maturation, growth and smoltification in Atlantic salmon,
Salmo salar, Aquaculture: an international journal devoted to fundamental aqautic food resources, 222, (1-4) pp. 239-252. ISSN 0044-8486 (2003) [Refereed Article]
Current Atlantic salmon farming practice induces early smoltification with artificial photoperiod regimes, however the importance of these photoperiods on parr maturation and interactions with smoltification are poorly understood. These questions were addressed in the present investigation, which examined the effects of photoperiod manipulation on the development, maturation and smoltification of individually tagged parr. Approximately 9000 salmon parr from a high grilsing stock were exposed to continuous light (LL) from first feeding. Three sub-groups of 2400 parr, each sub-group in triplicate tanks, were then exposed to an 8-week "winter photoperiod" (LD 10:14) starting on either the 18th May, the 9th August or the 20th September (defined, respectively, as the May, August and September groups). Following the artificial winter, each group was returned to LL. A fourth group of 1600 fish was maintained in replicate tanks on LL throughout. The highest levels of maturation (approx. 20%) were recorded in the May group. August and September groups showed low levels of maturity (<5%) with constant LL throughout resulting in intermediate levels (<9%). However, only groups exposed to the August photoperiod showed high levels of smoltification. It is concluded that the photoperiod to which parr are exposed early in their life acts as an important trigger for precocious maturation but does not necessarily phase shift the endogenous rhythm which is thought to control its timing. Smoltification is strongly influenced by the timing of exposure to winter photoperiod with clear evidence indicating that maturation and smolfification are not mutually exclusive processes. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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