The Threespine Stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus is widely distributed across northern hemisphere ecosystems, has ecological influence as an abundant planktivore, and is commonly used as a model organism, but the species lacks a comprehensive model to describe bioenergetic performance in response to varying environmental or ecological conditions. This study parameterized a bioenergetics model for the Threespine Stickleback using laboratory measurements to determine mass- and temperature-dependent functions for maximum consumption and routine respiration costs. Maximum consumption experiments were conducted across a range of temperatures from 7.5°C to 23.0°C and a range of fish weights from 0.5 to 4.5 g. Respiration experiments were conducted across a range of temperatures from 8°C to 28°C. Model sensitivity was consistent with other comparable models in that the mass-dependent parameters for maximum consumption were the most sensitive. Growth estimates based on the Threespine Stickleback bioenergetics model suggested that 22°C is the optimal temperature for growth when food is not limiting. The bioenergetics model performed well when used to predict independent, paired measures of consumption and growth observed from a separate wild population of Threespine Sticklebacks. Predicted values for consumption and growth (expressed as percent body weight per day) only deviated from observed values by 2.0%. Our model should provide insight into the physiological performance of this species across a range of environmental conditions and be useful for quantifying the trophic impact of this species in food webs containing other ecologically or economically important species.
|Title||Development of a bioenergetics model for the threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus|
|Authors||Rachel A. Hovel, David A. Beauchamp, Adam G. Hansen, Mark H. Sorel|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Transactions of the American Fisheries Society|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Coop Res Unit Seattle|