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Estimation of dynamic energy budget parameters for the Mediterranean toothcarp (Aphanius fasciatus)

June 27, 2014

Organisms adopt different sets of physiological, behavioural and morphological trade-offs in order to cope with natural environmental fluctuations. This has consequential rebounds on ecological processes and population dynamics. Such aspects become crucial for sex-dimorphic species, where sex-specific growth variation could mirror different tactics both in energy acquisition and investment between maximum female and male body size with cascading effects on population demography. To date, different approaches have been used in order to understand the causes of individual growth rate changes in ectotherm indeterminate growers, most of which failed. Here, we propose the use of a mechanistic model based on the Dynamic Energy Budget theory (DEB; Koojiman, 2010) to investigate potential differences in energy allocation strategies adopted by individuals of different genders with the Mediterranean toothcarp Aphanius fasciatus(Valenciennes, 1821) as the model species. We collected literature and field data in order to study differences in energy allocation strategies between females and males of the same species by generating projections of possible growth performances: (1) throughout their entire life span and (2) under a context of varying functional responses. Generally, the present exercise of simulations returned different patterns of growth performance among females and males of A. fasciatus, with the former being able to better optimize energetic trade-offs under optimal environmental conditions. The present DEB parameterization exercise represents an essential step towards developing a mechanistic approach to depict metabolic strategies, which are at the base of observed sexual differences, and how such differences may impair ultimate fitness at individual and, therefore, population levels.

Rinaldi A, Montalto V, Lika K, Sanfilippo M, Manganaro A, Sarà G, in press: Estimation of dynamic energy budget parameters for the Mediterranean toothcarp (Aphanius fasciatus), Journal of Sea Research, doi:10.1016/j.seares.2014.05.006. Article (subscription required).


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