Previous population estimates of the 0+ plaice (Pleuronectes platessa L.) in the Firth of Forth, east central Scotland, did not take account of the Forth estuary west of the Forth bridges. Previous work found plaice in the estuary grew as fast as, or faster than, the outer firth plaice. It was hypothesised that salinity may affect growth rates of early 0+ plaice. This hypothesis was tested in a laboratory experiment, by exposing juvenile plaice to three different, but naturally - experienced by the juveniles, salinities; 25, 30 and 35. Plaice fed a minimum ration did not grow in length. Mean weight decreased at all three salinities, however, the lowest weight loss was found at the lowest salinity (25) and the highest weight loss was found at the highest salinity (35). The minimum feeding ration was halted and plaice were then fed ad libitum. Consumption rates were not significantly different during the ad libitum feeding, while significant differences in mean weight change were found between the highest and lowest salinities. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Forth Estuary