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AB 29:71-77 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00727

Effect of tail fin loss on swimming capability and tail beat frequency of juvenile black carp Mylopharyngodon piceus

Lu Cai1,2,3, Jihua Chen3, David Johnson2,4, Zhiying Tu1, Yingping Huang1,3,*

1Engineering Research Center of Eco-environment in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, Ministry of Education, China Three Gorges University, Yichang 443002, PR China
2Key Laboratory of Ecological Impacts of Hydraulic-Projects and Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystem of Ministry of Water Resources, Institute of Hydroecology, Ministry of Water Resources and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430079, PR China
3College of Hydraulic & Environmental Engineering, China Three Gorges University, Yichang 443002, PR China
4School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Ferrum College, Ferrum, VA 24088, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Fin clipping is a common practice in fisheries management, and hatchery fish are often marked this way. In the wild, the tail (caudal) fin may be damaged or lost to predation or disease. Because the tail fin is important to fish swimming behavior and ability, this study was designed to examine the effects of partial and complete loss of the tail fin on the swimming ability of juvenile black carp Mylopharyngodon piceus. Swimming speed and tail beat frequency were measured for 3 groups (intact tail fin, partial tail fin, no tail fin) using a stepped velocity test conducted in a fish respirometer. We found that critical swimming speed (Ucrit) and burst speed (Uburst) decreased slightly in the partial fin group and significantly in the no fin group. In the group with no tail fin, Uburst decreased more than Ucrit, clearly reducing the ability to avoid predators. Moreover, mean tail beat frequency (TBFmean), Ucrit and Uburst all decreased slightly in the partial fin group and significantly in the no fin group. A decrease in tail beat force and TBF both reduce swimming capability. These findings contribute to developing our understanding of the relationship between fish tail fins and swimming.


KEY WORDS: Swimming performance · Tail fin loss · Critical swimming speed · Burst speed · Tail beat frequency


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Cite this article as: Cai L, Chen J, Johnson D, Tu Z, Huang Y (2020) Effect of tail fin loss on swimming capability and tail beat frequency of juvenile black carp Mylopharyngodon piceus. Aquat Biol 29:71-77. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00727

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