Recovery of Bioenergetics Parameters from Information on Growth: Overview of an Approach Based on Statistical Analysis of Tagging and Size-At- Age Data

Carl Walters1, Timothy Essington2, *
1 Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. V6T1Z4, Canada
2 School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Box 355020, Seattle, WA 98195-5020, USA

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© 2010 Walters and Essington

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Box 355020,Seattle, WA 98195-5020, USA: Tel: 604-822-6320; Fax: 604-822-8934; E-mail:


Parameters for size allometry in feeding and metabolic rates, along with Q10 parameters for responses of these rates to seasonal temperature change, can in principle be estimated from field data on growth, particularly seasonal tagging studies. However, it is still typically necessary to complement or constrain the field estimates with information from laboratory studies, particularly on power parameters for size allometry in metabolism, Q10 for metabolism, and responses of feeding rate at high temperatures. Ontogenetic habitat shifts can cause apparent changes in the size power parameters that are in fact due to temperature differences between the habitats. Seasonal changes in body condition (due to feeding, metabolism, and reproduction) can be represented using simple models for allocation of food intake to skeletal growth, though parameter estimation for such models is grossly unreliable when only seasonal changes in length growth rates have been measured.

Keywords: Bioenergetics models, food consumption rates, temperature, condition factor.