Conference Proceeding

Assessing the Influence of Individual Variation in Coping Styles on Swimming Performance in Zebrafish (Danio Rerio)

Alternative title Swimming performance in zebrafish



Rey Planellas S, Mackenzie S & Planas J (2018) Assessing the Influence of Individual Variation in Coping Styles on Swimming Performance in Zebrafish (Danio Rerio) [Swimming performance in zebrafish]. In: FitFish Annual Conference 2016. FITFISH EU cost action, Belgrade, Serbia, 22.04.2016-22.04.2016. FitFish, p. 34.

The main aim of this studywas to investigate the influence of coping styles on swimming performance in fish. Using the zebrafish, Danio rerio, as the experimental model species, we tested the hypothesis that individuals with reactive and proactive coping styles have different responses to swimming-induced activity. Zebrafish were screened for personality using two establishedbehaviouraltests: Risktaking test in groups and novel environment in isolation. Latencies to exit the shelter in groups and Duration of Appetite Inhibition (DAI)for the individual test were taken and only fish withresults consistent for both tests were selected for the swimming performance test. Non-consistentanimals were classified as intermediate and a group of 60 non-testedanimals were keptas controls(groups of n=12animals for each category: proactive, reactive, intermediates and naïve control fish). Swimmingperformance was evaluated in groups of 12-16fish for each category group using a 30L swimming tunnel (Loligo Systems). 3 control groups were used to validate the swimming tunnel experimental system. Swimming performance was measured by subjecting fish to a step-wise speed increment protocol consisting of increasing the speed by 4.8 cm/s every two minutes. Each individual fish was visually tracked.Thevariables measured were the critical swimming speed (Ucrit), time to exhaustion and recovery latencies (s).Analysis of the data fromthe swimming tunnel test showed a significantly better swimming performance of the proactive zebrafish compared to theirreactive counterparts.This was highlightedby the higher Ucrit values of proactive compared to reactive zebrafish,adjusted for the fish size. Interestingly, intermediate fish showed similar swimming performance to the proactive zebrafish. Naïve control fish, showed significantly lower swimming performance than intermediate and proactive fish. Theseresultshighlight the importance of coping styles for group composition and the swimming performance ofa shoaling fish species.Ourstudy contributes to the establishment of a relationship between behaviour and swimming performanceand hasimportant implications for fish swimming in the wild (e.g. migrations) as well as in aquaculture systems.Key words: zebrafish, coping styles, swimming performance, behaviour, individual variation.

Output Type: Meeting Abstract

Publication date01/05/2018
Publisher URL…rence%202016.pdf
ConferenceFITFISH EU cost action
Conference locationBelgrade, Serbia

People (2)


Professor Simon MacKenzie

Professor Simon MacKenzie

Professor & Head of Inst of Aquaculture, Institute of Aquaculture

Dr Sonia Rey Planellas

Dr Sonia Rey Planellas

Associate Professor, Institute of Aquaculture