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Are farmed salmon more prone to risk than wild salmon? Susceptibility of juvenile farm, hybrid and wild Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. to an artificial predator

By M. F. Solberg, ZhiWei Zhang, K. A. Glover

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Abstract

Offspring of farmed Atlantic salmon have been documented to display lower survival than the offspring of wild salmon in the wild. It has been suggested that reduced survival of farmed salmon offspring in the wild could, in part, be explained by increased susceptibility to predation through altered behaviour. This has however, not been demonstrated. This study investigated if farmed salmon display a higher susceptibility to predation than wild salmon, by exposing fry of farmed, hybrid and wild origin to an artificial predator in a semi-natural environment with competition for feed. The main results can be summarised as: (i) susceptibility to predation was similar in salmon of all origins, i.e., an equal number of farmed, hybrid and wild salmon were caught by the artificial predator; (ii) susceptibility to the artificial predator was not size-selective, i.e., large, fast growing individuals were caught in the same frequencies as small, slow growing individuals. As salmon fry of all origins were caught by the artificial predator in similar frequencies, equal susceptibility to predation was detected in farmed and wild salmon, under these conditions. If farmed salmon exhibit a genetically higher susceptibility to predation than wild salmon, potentially through increased risk-taking behaviour, this still remains to be demonstrated.

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 162
Pages 67-80
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Publisher Elsevier
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2014.11.012
Language English
Author Address Population Genetics Research Group, Institute of Marine Research, P.O. Box 1870, Nordnes NO-5817, Bergen, Norway.Monica.Solberg@imr.no Zhzhewi2005@126.com Kevin.Glover@imr.no
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal ecology
  3. Animal genetics
  4. Animals
  5. Aquacultural and fisheries
  6. Aquatic Biology and Ecology
  7. Aquatic organisms
  8. Biological control
  9. Fish
  10. Genetics
  11. Hybrids
  12. natural enemies
  13. peer-reviewed
  14. predation
  15. predators
  16. progeny
  17. survival
  18. susceptibility
  19. vertebrates
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  1. peer-reviewed