Title

Experimental venue affects growth rate and body shape in the sheepshead minnow

Poster Number

23

Lead Author Major

Pre-Dentistry and Biological Sciences

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Santiago Salinas

Faculty Mentor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract/Artist Statement

When designing experiments, the choice of venue or housing is typically not given much thought (at least in ichthyological research). Anecdotal accounts, however, suggest the choice of aquarium or container size could influence the phenotype of the studied individuals. To empirically assess whether this is something to be concerned about, we tested how cage size influenced growth and body shape of the sheepshead minnow, Cyprinodon variegatus, a common east coast estuarine fish. We grew individuals over the course of 8 weeks in 3 cylindrical chamber sizes (diameter small=50 mm, medium=85 mm, large=135 mm; n=15 per treatment). We photographed and digitally measured fish weekly for length estimation and at the end of the experiment for geometric morphometrics analysis. Chamber size influenced both growth rate and body shape. Individuals grown in the medium and large containers had similar growth rates, while those in the small chambers had significantly slower growth rates and consequently achieved a smaller final size (~10% smaller). Fish shape differed across all treatments, as individuals grown in large containers featured more prominent humps than the others, fish grown in medium containers were deeper bodied, and small-chamber-grown fish had a narrow body and subdued hump. These results confirmed the importance of rearing venue to life history and morphological traits. We must therefore take proper precautions when undertaking metaanalyses and carefully design hatcheries to avoid undesired phenotypes.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

25-4-2015 10:00 AM

End Date

25-4-2015 12:00 PM

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Apr 25th, 10:00 AM Apr 25th, 12:00 PM

Experimental venue affects growth rate and body shape in the sheepshead minnow

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

When designing experiments, the choice of venue or housing is typically not given much thought (at least in ichthyological research). Anecdotal accounts, however, suggest the choice of aquarium or container size could influence the phenotype of the studied individuals. To empirically assess whether this is something to be concerned about, we tested how cage size influenced growth and body shape of the sheepshead minnow, Cyprinodon variegatus, a common east coast estuarine fish. We grew individuals over the course of 8 weeks in 3 cylindrical chamber sizes (diameter small=50 mm, medium=85 mm, large=135 mm; n=15 per treatment). We photographed and digitally measured fish weekly for length estimation and at the end of the experiment for geometric morphometrics analysis. Chamber size influenced both growth rate and body shape. Individuals grown in the medium and large containers had similar growth rates, while those in the small chambers had significantly slower growth rates and consequently achieved a smaller final size (~10% smaller). Fish shape differed across all treatments, as individuals grown in large containers featured more prominent humps than the others, fish grown in medium containers were deeper bodied, and small-chamber-grown fish had a narrow body and subdued hump. These results confirmed the importance of rearing venue to life history and morphological traits. We must therefore take proper precautions when undertaking metaanalyses and carefully design hatcheries to avoid undesired phenotypes.