Diet‐related thiamine deficiency increases the acute mortality, known as early mortality syndrome, of salmonines from some of the Great Lakes. The consequences of thiamine deficiency as measured at the egg stage for other important early life stage processes like growth, foraging efficiency, and predator avoidance that may also result in mortality, are unknown. Accordingly, we investigated the impacts of low thiamine on the specific growth rate (SGR) of first‐feeding fry, the ability of first‐feeding fry to capture Daphnia, fry emergence in the presence of a potential predator (round goby Apollina (formerly Neogobius) melanostomus), and predation by slimy sculpin Cottus cognatus. We used a combination of thiamine‐deficient and thiamine‐replete wild stocks of lake trout Salvelinus namaycush for this purpose. From these investigations we developed predictive relationships. Specific growth rate was related to egg thiamine concentration. From the exponential relationship, it was predicted that the threshold egg thiamine concentrations associated with 20% and 50% reductions in SGR are 8.1 and 5.1 nmol/g, respectively. The foraging rate on Daphnia was also related to egg thiamine concentration by an exponential relationship. It was predicted that the threshold concentrations associated with 20% and 50% reductions in this rate are 6.9 and 2.9 nmol/g, respectively. The presence of a round goby significantly reduced emergence success, but the level of goby predation was unrelated to egg thiamine concentration. Sculpin predation was related, although weakly, to the initial egg thiamine concentration. This research found that thiamine deficiency affected growth, foraging, and predator avoidance in lake trout fry. Growth effects resulting from thiamine deficiency may represent the most sensitive means of monitoring the impact of the secondary consequences of thiamine deficiency. Mortality associated with the combined effects of reduced growth and foraging has the potential to seriously impair lake trout recruitment.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Influence of thiamine deficiency on Lake Trout larval growth, foraging, and predator avoidance|
|Series title||Journal of Aquatic Animal Health|
|Publisher||American Fisheries Society|
|Contributing office(s)||Columbia Environmental Research Center, Contaminant Biology Program|