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Data from: Impact of nutrition and salinity changes on biological performances of green and white sturgeon

Cite this dataset

Vaz, Pedro G. et al. (2016). Data from: Impact of nutrition and salinity changes on biological performances of green and white sturgeon [Dataset]. Dryad.


Green and white sturgeon are species of high conservational and economic interest, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Delta (SFBD) for which significant climate change-derived alterations in salinity and nutritional patterns are forecasted. Although there is paucity of information, it is critical to test the network of biological responses underlying the capacity of animals to tolerate current environmental changes. Through nutrition and salinity challenges, climate change will likely have more physiological effect on young sturgeon stages, which in turn may affect growth performance. In this study, the two species were challenged in a multiple-factor experimental setting, first to levels of feeding rate, and then to salinity levels for different time periods. Data analysis included generalized additive models to select predictors of growth performance (measured by condition factor) among the environmental stressors considered and a suite of physiological variables. Using structural equation modeling, a path diagram is proposed to quantify the main linkages among nutrition status, salinity, osmoregulation variables, and growth performances. Three major trends were anticipated for the growth performance of green and white sturgeon in the juvenile stage in the SFBD: (i) a decrease in prey abundance will be highly detrimental for the growth of both species; (ii) an acute increase in salinity within the limits studied can be tolerated by both species but possibly the energy spent in osmoregulation may affect green sturgeon growth within the time window assessed; (iii) the mechanism of synergistic effects of nutrition and salinity changes will be more complex in green sturgeon, with condition factor responding nonlinearly to interactions of salinity and nutrition status or time of salinity exposure. Green sturgeon merits special scientific attention and conservation effort to offset the effects of feed restriction and salinity as key environmental stressors in the SFBD.

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