Effects of partial and complete food deprivation on compensatory growth of juvenile soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) : Temporal patterns in growth rate and changes in body composition
Acta Hydrobiologica Sinica 31(2): 214-219
To ascertain compensatory growth capability of juvenile soft-shelled turtles (Pelodiscus sinensis), the turtles with an average body weight of 9.56g were treated with one of the following regimes: full food deprivation for 0 (control), 1, 2, 3 and 4 weeks. respectively; Partial deprivation by feeding with the equivalent of one per cent of mean body weight for 4 weeks and then the turtles in each group were fed to apparent satiation until the end of the 10-week experiment. Each fully food deprived group Showed significantly higher specific growth rate than the control during the first re-feeding week, but the final body weight of all food deprived groups did not exceed the control. By the end of the deprivation period, body lipid content showed a decreasing trend with increasing duration of food deprivation, while body ash and moisture contents showed a clear reverse trend: lipid content was significantly lower in each deprived group than the control, but ash content or moisture content was significantly higher than the control. No significant differences were found in protein content among all groups. Final body lipid, protein and moisture restored to the control level, but ash did not. The results indicated that the juvenile turtles subjected to starvation firstly consumed fat a their main energy source, and full food deprivation could trigger a partially compensatory growth response, whereas partial deprivation failed to introduce the compensatory response.