Food anticipatory behaviour as an indicator of stress response and recovery in Atlantic salmon post-smolt after exposure to acute temperature fluctuation

Ole Folkedal, Lars H. Stien, Thomas Torgersen, Frode Oppedal, Rolf Erik Olsen, Jan Erik Fosseidengen, Victoria A. Braithwaite, Tore S. Kristiansen

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21 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study we evaluated Pavlovian conditioned food anticipatory behaviour as a potential indicator for stress in groups of Atlantic salmon, and compared this with the physiological stress responses of cortisol excretion into water and hyper-consumption of oxygen. We hypothesised that environmental stress would result in reduced feeding motivation. To assess this, we measured the strength of anticipatory behaviour during a period of flashing light that signalled arrival of food. Further, we expected that fish given a reduced food ration would be less sensitive to environmental stress than fish fed full ration. The fish responded to an acute temperature fluctuation with hyper-consumption of oxygen that decreased in line with the temperature, and elevated cortisol excretion up to 1. h after the stressor. These physiological responses did not differ significantly between the food ration groups. The anticipatory behaviour was significantly reduced after the stressor and returned to control levels after 1 to 2. h in the reduced ration group, but not until after 3 to 4. h in the full ration group. Our results show that acute stress can be measured in terms of changes to feeding motivation, and that it is a more sensitive indicator of stress that influences the fish over a longer time period than measures of change in cortisol excretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-356
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume105
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 18 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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    Folkedal, O., Stien, L. H., Torgersen, T., Oppedal, F., Olsen, R. E., Fosseidengen, J. E., Braithwaite, V. A., & Kristiansen, T. S. (2012). Food anticipatory behaviour as an indicator of stress response and recovery in Atlantic salmon post-smolt after exposure to acute temperature fluctuation. Physiology and Behavior, 105(2), 350-356. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.08.008