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Research article2015Peer reviewed

Behavioural responses in a net restraint test predict interrenal reactivity in Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus

Magnhagen, Carin; Backström, Tobias; Øverli, Øyvind; Winberg, Svante; Nilsson, Jan; Vindas, Marco; Brännäs, Eva


In this study, a 1 min net restraint test was evaluated as a method to predict stress-coping style in Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus, by investigating the relationship between behaviour during the test and levels of plasma cortisol sampled after 30 min confinement. In two separate groups of S. alpinus, general linearized model revealed significant correlations between cortisol levels and principal component scores extracted from principal component analysis, combining measures of activity in the tests. With the use of glmulti, the model selection ruled out any effects of size, sex and order of capture on interrenal reactivity. In general, S. alpinus that were more active in the net restraint test also had low levels of circulating cortisol, suggesting a proactive coping style. The results from two repeated runs were not correlated, but both runs, performed eight days apart, show a negative correlation between post-stress cortisol level and activity in the net. The lack of consistency could be explained by different treatments before each run and individual differences in behavioural plasticity. The net restraint test is thus predictive of stress-coping style in S. alpinus, and has the benefit of being less time-consuming than the commonly used confinement stress test.


confinement test; cortisol; personality; stress responsiveness

Published in

Journal of Fish Biology
2015, Volume: 87, number: 1, pages: 88-99