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Developmental plasticity of growth and digestive efficiency in dependence of early-life food availability.

Kotrschal A, Szidat S, Taborsky B - Funct Ecol (2014)

Bottom Line: If food is scarce, developing organisms may invest into growth to outgrow size-dependent mortality (short-term benefit) and/or into an efficient digestion system (long-term benefit).Fish kept at constant, high rations grew considerably faster than low-food fish.Nevertheless, S. pleurospilus partly buffered the negative effects of low food availability by developing heavier digestive organs, and they were therefore more efficient in digesting their food as adults.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Behavioural Ecology, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, Wohlenstrasse 50a, CH-3032 Hinterkappelen Switzerland ; Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, Department of Integrative Biology and Evolution, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna Savoyenstraße 1a, Vienna, A-1160, Austria.

ABSTRACT

Nutrition is a potent mediator of developmental plasticity. If food is scarce, developing organisms may invest into growth to outgrow size-dependent mortality (short-term benefit) and/or into an efficient digestion system (long-term benefit). We investigated this potential trade-off, by determining the influence of food availability on juvenile body and organ growth, and on adult digestive efficiency in the cichlid fish Simochromis pleurospilus. We reared two groups of fish at constant high or low food rations, and we switched four other groups between these two rations at an early and late juvenile period. We measured juvenile growth and organ sizes at different developmental stages and determined adult digestive efficiency. Fish kept at constant, high rations grew considerably faster than low-food fish. Nevertheless, S. pleurospilus partly buffered the negative effects of low food availability by developing heavier digestive organs, and they were therefore more efficient in digesting their food as adults. Results of fish exposed to a ration switch during either the early or late juvenile period suggest (i) that the ability to show compensatory growth after early exposure to low food availability persists during the juvenile period, (ii) that digestive efficiency is influenced by varying juvenile food availability during the late juvenile phase and (iii) that the efficiency of the adult digestive system is correlated with the growth rate during a narrow time window of juvenile period.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Effects of juvenile ration on adult digestive efficiency in Simochromis pleurospilus. Fish kept on low food rations late during their juvenile period developed a more efficient digestive system as adults (estimated marginal means (± SE) derived from a GLM with digestive efficiency as dependent variable and early and late food ration as fixed effects). *P < 0.05; n.s., P > 0.10.
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fig04: Effects of juvenile ration on adult digestive efficiency in Simochromis pleurospilus. Fish kept on low food rations late during their juvenile period developed a more efficient digestive system as adults (estimated marginal means (± SE) derived from a GLM with digestive efficiency as dependent variable and early and late food ration as fixed effects). *P < 0.05; n.s., P > 0.10.

Mentions: Fish that received the NLL treatment were more efficient in using energy than fish that received NHH (91.5 % vs. 84.3 %; t-test, F = 8·28, P = 0·019, NHH = 28, NLL = 22; only fish kept on constant rations). When including all experimental fish (switched and non-switched individuals), the mean juvenile food availability received by each individual correlated negatively with its adult digestive efficiency (Pearson: r = −0·314, P = 0·011, N = 75). We furthermore found that late, but not early, juvenile food availability influenced adult digestive efficiency (GLM: early food availability: F1,71 = 0·03, P = 0·87; late food availability: F1,71 = 5·0, P = 0·028; N = 28 (high rations), 22 (low rations), 15 (low-high rations), 10 (high-low rations); Fig.4). Fish receiving high food rations late in their juvenile period showed lower digestive efficiencies. Furthermore, we identified the particular time window within the juvenile period, which influenced adult digestive efficiency most strongly (see ‘Methods’ section); DE was strongly negatively correlated with SGR between week 12 and week 15 only, but not with growth rates in all other 3-week periods (Table2). The faster the fish grew between week 12 and week 15, the less efficient was their adult digestive system.


Developmental plasticity of growth and digestive efficiency in dependence of early-life food availability.

Kotrschal A, Szidat S, Taborsky B - Funct Ecol (2014)

Effects of juvenile ration on adult digestive efficiency in Simochromis pleurospilus. Fish kept on low food rations late during their juvenile period developed a more efficient digestive system as adults (estimated marginal means (± SE) derived from a GLM with digestive efficiency as dependent variable and early and late food ration as fixed effects). *P < 0.05; n.s., P > 0.10.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4384755&req=5

fig04: Effects of juvenile ration on adult digestive efficiency in Simochromis pleurospilus. Fish kept on low food rations late during their juvenile period developed a more efficient digestive system as adults (estimated marginal means (± SE) derived from a GLM with digestive efficiency as dependent variable and early and late food ration as fixed effects). *P < 0.05; n.s., P > 0.10.
Mentions: Fish that received the NLL treatment were more efficient in using energy than fish that received NHH (91.5 % vs. 84.3 %; t-test, F = 8·28, P = 0·019, NHH = 28, NLL = 22; only fish kept on constant rations). When including all experimental fish (switched and non-switched individuals), the mean juvenile food availability received by each individual correlated negatively with its adult digestive efficiency (Pearson: r = −0·314, P = 0·011, N = 75). We furthermore found that late, but not early, juvenile food availability influenced adult digestive efficiency (GLM: early food availability: F1,71 = 0·03, P = 0·87; late food availability: F1,71 = 5·0, P = 0·028; N = 28 (high rations), 22 (low rations), 15 (low-high rations), 10 (high-low rations); Fig.4). Fish receiving high food rations late in their juvenile period showed lower digestive efficiencies. Furthermore, we identified the particular time window within the juvenile period, which influenced adult digestive efficiency most strongly (see ‘Methods’ section); DE was strongly negatively correlated with SGR between week 12 and week 15 only, but not with growth rates in all other 3-week periods (Table2). The faster the fish grew between week 12 and week 15, the less efficient was their adult digestive system.

Bottom Line: If food is scarce, developing organisms may invest into growth to outgrow size-dependent mortality (short-term benefit) and/or into an efficient digestion system (long-term benefit).Fish kept at constant, high rations grew considerably faster than low-food fish.Nevertheless, S. pleurospilus partly buffered the negative effects of low food availability by developing heavier digestive organs, and they were therefore more efficient in digesting their food as adults.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Behavioural Ecology, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, Wohlenstrasse 50a, CH-3032 Hinterkappelen Switzerland ; Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, Department of Integrative Biology and Evolution, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna Savoyenstraße 1a, Vienna, A-1160, Austria.

ABSTRACT

Nutrition is a potent mediator of developmental plasticity. If food is scarce, developing organisms may invest into growth to outgrow size-dependent mortality (short-term benefit) and/or into an efficient digestion system (long-term benefit). We investigated this potential trade-off, by determining the influence of food availability on juvenile body and organ growth, and on adult digestive efficiency in the cichlid fish Simochromis pleurospilus. We reared two groups of fish at constant high or low food rations, and we switched four other groups between these two rations at an early and late juvenile period. We measured juvenile growth and organ sizes at different developmental stages and determined adult digestive efficiency. Fish kept at constant, high rations grew considerably faster than low-food fish. Nevertheless, S. pleurospilus partly buffered the negative effects of low food availability by developing heavier digestive organs, and they were therefore more efficient in digesting their food as adults. Results of fish exposed to a ration switch during either the early or late juvenile period suggest (i) that the ability to show compensatory growth after early exposure to low food availability persists during the juvenile period, (ii) that digestive efficiency is influenced by varying juvenile food availability during the late juvenile phase and (iii) that the efficiency of the adult digestive system is correlated with the growth rate during a narrow time window of juvenile period.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus