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Positive effects of fast growth on locomotor performance in pelagic fish juveniles

Citation

Nakamura, Masahiro et al. (2022), Positive effects of fast growth on locomotor performance in pelagic fish juveniles, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bzkh1896k

Abstract

Many laboratory experiments on aquatic vertebrates that inhabit closed water or coastal areas have highlighted negative effects of fast growth on swimming performance. Nonetheless, field studies on pelagic fishes have provided evidence of survival advantages of faster growing individuals. To reconcile this contradiction, we examined the relationship between growth rate and swimming performance as a continuous function for juveniles of chub mackerel (scomber japonicus) using 3D tracking analysis. For experiments, 20, 24, 27, and 30 days post-hatch individuals within the size range of 14.5­­­­­­–25.3 mm were used. We found that the growth–swimming (burst speed) relationship in chub mackerel was substantially positive and it was supported by morphological traits such as muscle area, which were also positively related with growth rate. This finding is consistent with field observations showing selective survival of fast-growing individuals of this species, reconciling the current contradiction between laboratory experiments and field observations. A dome-shaped quadratic curve described the relationship between growth rate and burst speed better than a linear or cubic function, suggesting that growth may trade off with swimming performance, as reported in many previous studies, when it is extremely fast. These results, obtained from the rarely tested offshore species, strongly suggests the importance of experimental verification using animals that inhabit various types of habitats in understanding the principles underlying the evolution of growth–locomotor relationship.

Methods

These data were generated to investigate the relationship between growth rate and swimming performance and related traits for juveniles of chub mackerel (scomber japonicus).  To clarify whether SL and growth rate had a significant effect on routine and burst speeds, generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs) were applied.  In addition, two generalized linear models (GLMs) and an GLMM were applied to determine whether there were any significant relationships between morphological traits and growth rate or burst speed.

Funding