Environmental Cues

We compare findings obtained under controlled laboratory experiments with observed outcomes under full scale production to deliver knowledge of practical relevance for aquaculture operators to improve production protocols.

External environmental factors such as temperature, salinity and photoperiod modulate fish growth and reproduction in aquaculture facilities. Our aquaculture researchers investigate how these environmental factors may be manipulated to improve control of normal development for aquaculture species and therefore optimize aquaculture production.

Our research term investigates the interactions and outcomes of combinations of environmental cues such as temperature, salinity, and photoperiod. We specialize in manipulation studies performed on the early live stages of key aquaculture species with subsequent monitoring of growth, environmental adaptation throughout the lifespan of the animal, and the physiology and development of key life-stage transitions such as puberty. Our results are applied toward recommending water quality and feeding regimes to improve aquaculture production.

Among abiotic factors, temperature in fish is regarded as a key regulating factor of chemical reactions in cells. Photoperiod on the other hand, is classified as a directive factor, controlling growth through its regulation of endogenous rhythms. Simultaneous manipulation of environmental factors such as these may have a stronger influence on growth than any single factor alone. This area, currently at the forefront of research on environmental cues, is a key component of our research portfolio.

Akvaplan-niva in Action

The behavior and health of these Arctic Charr are being monitored by researchers in order to determine optimal densities for Arctic Char held in fish tanks. <span>Image by Snorri Gunnarsson</span>
A mature (red-orange skin color) and immature (silver skin color) Arctic Charr shown side by side highlights the contrast in skin coloration between sexually mature and immature individuals. <span>Image by Snorri Gunnarsson</span>
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For More Information

Albert Kjartanson Imsland
aki@akvaplan.niva.no
Kopavogi, Iceland

Related Reading

Effect of rearing temperature on growth of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) during juvenile and on-growing periods.

Gunnarsson, S., Imsland, A.K., Arnarson, I., Gústavsson, A., Arnarson, I., Jónsson, J.K., Foss, A., Stefansson, S. & Thorarensen, H. (2011)

Aquaculture Research 42, 221-229

Stepwise temperature regulation and its effect on growth, feeding, blood physiology and muscle growth patterns of juvenile Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus L.).

Larsen, S., Imsland, A.K., Lohne, P., Pittman, K. and Foss. A. (2011)

Aquaculture International 19: 825-837.