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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI 11:97-110 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00294

Morphological and ecophysiological adaptations of wild gilthead seabream Sparus aurata associated with tuna farms

Igor Talijančić, Tanja Šegvić-Bubić*, Iva Žužul, Tomislav Džoić, Jasna Maršić-Lučić, Leon Grubišić

Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Šetalište Ivana Meštrovića 63, 21000 Split, Croatia
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Morphological and ecophysiological traits of wild, farmed and wild farm-associated gilthead seabream Sparus aurata were used to assess the degree of phenotypic adaptation of the species to their respective environments. Geometric morphometrics revealed clear body shape differentiation amongst the 3 types of populations, whereby significant differences were noted in head profile and the anterior-body region of the fish. Morphological resemblance was recorded among 2 gilthead seabream populations associated with tuna farms, indicating that they share the same phenotypic responsiveness pattern. Adaptation in reproductive investment strategy was observed in individuals from farm-associated origin, displaying the highest gonadosomatic index but lowest condition in comparison to their farmed and wild counterparts. Multinomial logistic regression revealed that sex change from male to female with increasing length was more pronounced in farm-associated fish than in farmed and and wild fish. These findings demonstrate a significant influence of the environmental factors inherent to tuna farms on the phenotypic characteristics of gilthead seabream, providing a basis for further research on the ecological effects of tuna farms on local marine populations.


KEY WORDS: Gilthead seabream · Aquaculture impact · Farm-associated fish · Phenotypic plasticity · Morphology · Fitness


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Cite this article as: Talijančić I, Šegvić-Bubić T, Žužul I, Džoić T, Maršić-Lučić J, Grubišić L (2019) Morphological and ecophysiological adaptations of wild gilthead seabream Sparus aurata associated with tuna farms. Aquacult Environ Interact 11:97-110. https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00294

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