Agonistic behaviour and feed efficiency in juvenile Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus

De Verdal Hugues, O'Connell Catherine Maeve, Mekkawy Wagdy, Vandeputte Marc, Chatain Béatrice, Bégout Marie-Laure, Benzie John A.H.. 2019. Agonistic behaviour and feed efficiency in juvenile Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus. Aquaculture, 505 : pp. 271-279.

Journal article ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
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Quartile : Q1, Sujet : FISHERIES / Quartile : Q1, Sujet : MARINE & FRESHWATER BIOLOGY

Abstract : Given the strong effects of behavioural hierarchies on growth in many cultured species and the key role of feed efficiency in aquaculture economics, understanding the nature of the interaction of these variables is important for the sustainability of aquaculture. The relationship between agonistic behaviour, growth and feed efficiency in Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, was studied by rearing 120 fish in eight aquaria. Fish were video-recorded to estimate the occurrence of agonistic behaviour during a fasting and a refeeding period. Growth, feed intake and feed conversion efficiency (FCE - calculated as the inverse of feed conversion ratio (FCR)) were subsequently measured individually for each fish. Fish showed 58% less agonistic traits during the fasting period compared to the feeding period, but generally, an aggressive fish during the fasting period was also aggressive during the refeeding period. The nature of agonistic behaviours between individuals was used to assess the presence of hierarchical relationships between fish. There were dominance hierarchies established in each experimental aquarium that despite minor shifts were maintained throughout the experiment. Agonistic behaviours were strongly correlated with each other, the aggression Index (AI) and with hierarchy rank. PCA analysis of the agonistic behaviours summarising the behavioural information showed little or no correlation between agonistic behaviour, fish growth or FCE. FCE was correlated with body weight gain (BWG). These results suggest that agonistic interactions in juvenile Nile tilapia do not have a large impact on growth and feed conversion efficiency.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, Efficacité conversion alimentaire, Aliment pour animaux, Gain de poids, Comportement agressif, Aquaculture

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Malaisie péninsulaire

Classification Agris : M12 - Aquaculture production
L02 - Animal feeding

Champ stratégique Cirad : CTS 2 (2019-) - Transitions agroécologiques

Agence(s) de financement européenne(s) : European Commission

Auteurs et affiliations

  • De Verdal Hugues, CIRAD-PERSYST-UMR ISEM (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0002-1923-8575 - auteur correspondant
  • O'Connell Catherine Maeve, WorldFish (MYS)
  • Mekkawy Wagdy, Ain Shams University (EGY)
  • Vandeputte Marc, INRA (FRA)
  • Chatain Béatrice, IFREMER (FRA)
  • Bégout Marie-Laure, IFREMER (FRA)
  • Benzie John A.H., Centre mondial sur le poisson (MYS)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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