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Metabolism, food consumption and growth of plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) and flounder (Platichthys flesus) in relation to fish size and temperature
Fonds, M.; Cronie, R.; Vethaak, A.D.; van der Puyl, P. (1992). Metabolism, food consumption and growth of plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) and flounder (Platichthys flesus) in relation to fish size and temperature. Neth. J. Sea Res. 29(1-3): 127-143.
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579; e-ISSN 1873-1406, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Fonds, M.
  • Cronie, R.
  • Vethaak, A.D., more
  • van der Puyl, P.

    Daily rates of oxygen consumption, food consumption and growth of plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) and flounder (Platichthys flesus) have been measured in the laboratory at various constant temperatures. Oxygen consumption was related to body weight of the fish as a power function, with a weight exponent of between 0.71 and 0.85. No significant effects of temperature or feeding on this exponent were found. Flounder showed a significantly higher metabolic rate and a higher temperature coefficient for metabolism than plaice. Maximum daily rates of food consumption and the weight increment of fish fed with excess rations of fresh mussel meat could also be related to fish weights by means of power functions. For plaice these exponents decreased from about 0.9 at low temperatures (2-6°C) to about 0.7 at high temperatures (18-22°C). Such a temperature effect on the weight exponent indicates that small juvenile fish eat more and grow faster at higher temperatures than do large older fish, and that large fish do better at low temperatures. After scaling of daily food consumption and growth in proportion to metabolic weights of the fish (W0.78), feeding and growth at different fish sizes and temperatures can be compared and temperature-growth rate models can be used for investigations of feeding in natural populations. Compared to plaice, young flounder ate more and grew faster at higher temperatures (> 14°C). This may partly explain the preference of flounder for the shallower parts of coastal areas and estuaries, where summer temperatures and food densities are higher. Energy budgets of young plaice and flounder fed with excess rations of mussel meat indicate that at least 29% of the food energy is used for metabolism while about 37% of the food energy is converted into growth. The net conversion efficiency was estimated at 0.45 for food and growth in units of ash-free dry weight, and at 0.53 for food and growth in energy units. Analysis of the energy budget showed that the assimilated physiologically useful food energy is divided almost equally over metabolism (42-47%) and growth (53-55%). It is suggested that flatfish spend relatively less energy in swimming and therefore convert more food energy into growth than (pelagic) roundfish.

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