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Development, validation and field application of an RNA-based growth index in juvenile plaice Pleuronectes platessa

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A general mechanism relating RNA concentration and growth rate is derived from four physiological assumptions and developed into a growth index for juvenile plaice Pleuronectes platessa. The index describing instantaneous growth rates (G, day−1) in the laboratory with the lowest Akaike information criterion with small-sample bias adjustment was a function of RNA concentration (R, ), temperature (T, ° K), body mass (M, g) and DNA concentration (D, ): G = 0 + RR + TT + T2T2 + MM + DD + RTRT. RNA concentration began to respond to changes in feeding conditions within 8 days, suggesting that the index reflects growth rate in the short-term. Furthermore, the index distinguished between rapid growth and negative growth of juvenile P. platessa measured directly in laboratory and field enclosures, respectively. An application of the RNA-based growth index at two beaches on the west coast of Scotland suggested that the growth of juvenile P. platessa varies considerably in space and time and is submaximum in late summer.
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Keywords: RNA:DNA; food condition; habitat quality; maximum growth; model selection; physiological mechanisms

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: School of Marine Science and Policy, University of Delaware, Lewes, DE 19958, U.S.A. 2: Institute of Marine Research, PB 1870 Nordnes, 5817 Bergen, Norway 3: Scottish Association for Marine Science, Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory, Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA, U.K. 4: Department of Biology, University of Bergen, PB 7803, 5020 Bergen, Norway

Publication date: 2010-12-01

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