A 4 × 4 factorial experiment was conducted to determine the effects of low salinity (0.2, 3, and 6; and the control salinity, 21) and low temperature (7°C, 9°C, and 11°C; and the control temperature, 25°C) on survival, growth, and energy budget of juvenile shrimp Exopalaemon carinicauda. The duration of the experiment was 60 days. Results showed that E. carinicauda juveniles have a greater ability to survive extreme salinity conditions at temperatures of 11–25°C, and their capability to withstand temperature extremes was greater at salinities of 3–21. The specific growth rate, food consumption, feed efficiency, and apparent digestibility coefficient of E. carinicauda showed remarkable increase paralleled with salinity elevation. Similarly, the specific growth rate, food consumption, and apparent digestibility coefficient of E. carinicauda also exhibited significant increasing tendency as the temperature rises. However, feed efficiency is found to be decreased with elevated temperature. In general, the shrimp maintained at the control salinity (21) and control temperature (25°C) had a significantly higher specific growth rate, whereas those maintained at a salinity of 0.2 and a temperature of 7°C exhibited a significantly lower value. The pattern of energy allocation is found to be varied in accordance with salinity and temperature, inasmuch as 68.46–78.98% of consumed energy was lost through respiration, 5.37–13.70% was invested in growth, 8.02–13.28% was for feces production, 4.55–5.83% was for excretion, and only 0.62–0.73% was for exuviae. The current study also reveals that there is an increased tendency for percentage of intake energy invested in growth (the energy value expressed as the percentage of intake energy, %C), whereas that lost in excretion and feces (%C) exhibited a remarkable decrease with increase of salinity. The percentage of intake energy invested in growth and lost in feces (%C) showed decreased trends, whereas that lost in respiration and excretion (%C) is found to be decreased as the temperature is elevated. As far as the pattern of intake energy allocation is concerned, it was apparent that salinity affects the growth of E. carinicauda juveniles mainly by influencing energy conversion efficiency, whereas temperature affects primarily food consumption and energy conversion efficiency as well. The interaction of low salinity and low temperature on survival and growth of E. carinicauda were also discussed.
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