SREL Reprint #0883




Evaluating the Constraints of Temperature, Activity and Consumption on Growth of Largemouth Bass

James A. Rice, James E. Breck, Steven M. Bartell and James F. Kitchell



We present a bioenergetics model for largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) which simulates growth as a function of body size, temperature, activity and consumption level.  We apply the model to investigate seasonal changes in condition factor exhibit by bass in par Pond, South Carolina, a reservoir receiving heated effluent.  Previous authors have suggested that these changes occur due to bioenergetic constraints, primarily the effects of heated effluent on metabolic rate.  Model simulations were used to evaluate the hypotheses that seasonal changes in condition factor were caused by the heated effluent, seasonally variable activity, seasonal variable consumption, or reproductive costs.

Results indicate that temperature is not directly responsible for the seasonal change sin condition factor.  Bass moderate the influence of the heated effluent via behavioral thermoregulation.  Activity is not a major factor, and spawning weight-loss can account for only a small portion of the observed variation.  However, the pattern of seasonal changes in body condition may be adequately explained by seasonal variations in consumption.  The patterns of consumption rate and/or prey availability suggested by model simulations represent testable hypothesis.

Key words:  Growth model, Bioemergetics, Micropterus salmoides, Par Pond, Thermal effluent, Condition factor, Behavioral thermoregulation


SREL Reprint #0883

Rice, J.A., J.E. Breck, S.M. Bartell, and J.F. Kitchell. 1983. Evaluating the constraints of temperature, activity and consumption on growth of largemouth bass. Environmental Biology of Fishes 9:263-275.

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