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Temperature and prey quality effects on growth of juvenile walleye pollock Theragra chalcogramma (Pallas): a spatially explicit bioenergetics approach

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A bioenergetics model for juvenile age-0 year walleye pollock Theragra chalcogramma was applied to a spatially distinct grid of samples in the western Gulf of Alaska to investigate the influence of temperature and prey quality on size-specific growth. Daily growth estimates for 50, 70 and 90 mm standard length (LS) walleye pollock during September 2000 were generated using the bioenergetics model with a fixed ration size. Similarities in independent estimates of prey consumption generated from the bioenergetics model and a gastric evacuation model corroborated the performance of the bioenergetics model, concordance correlation (rc) = 0·945, lower 95% CL (transformed) (L1) = 0·834, upper 95% CL (transformed) (L2) = 0·982, P < 0·001. A mean squared error analysis (MSE) was also used to partition the sources of error between both model estimates of consumption into a mean component (MC), slope component (SC), and random component (RC). Differences between estimates of daily consumption were largely due to differences in the means of estimates (MC= 0·45) and random sources (RC= 0·49) of error, and not differences in slopes (SC= 0·06). Similarly, daily growth estimates of 0·031–0·167 g day−1 generated from the bioenergetics model was within the range of growth estimates of 0·026–0·190 g day−1 obtained from otolith analysis of juvenile walleye pollock. Temperature and prey quality alone accounted for 66% of the observed variation between bioenergetics and otolith growth estimates across all sizes of juvenile walleye pollock. These results suggest that the bioenergetics model for juvenile walleye pollock is a useful tool for evaluating the influence of spatially variable habitat conditions on the growth potential of juvenile walleye pollock.

Keywords: bioenergetics; energy budgets; food consumption; model evaluation; prey energy content; spatially explicit growth

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 7600 Sand Point Way N.E., Building 4, Seattle, WA 98115, U.S.A. 2: U.S. Geological Survey, Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Washington, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Box 355020, Seattle, WA 98195, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2007-03-01

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