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A Dynamic Energy Budget simulation approach to investigate the eco-physiological factors behind the two-stanza growth of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)

Abstract : The growth of yellowfin tuna has been the subject of considerable research efforts since the early 1960s. Most studies support a complex two-stanza growth pattern with a sharp acceleration departing from the von Bertalanffy growth curve used for most fish populations. This growth pattern has been assumed to result from a combination of physiological, ecological and behavioral factors but the role and contribution of each of them have not been addressed yet. We developed a bioenergetic model for yellowfin tuna in the context of Dynamic Energy Budget theory to mechanistically represent the processes governing yellowfin tuna growth. Most parameters of the model were inferred from Pacific bluefin tuna using body-size scaling relationships while some essential parameters were estimated from biological data sets collected in the Indian Ocean. The model proved particularly suitable for reproducing the data collected during the Pacific yellowfin tuna farming experience conducted by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission at the Achotines Laboratory in Panama. In addition, model predictions appeared in agreement with knowledge of the biology and ecology of wild yellowfin tuna. We used our model to explore through simulations two major assumptions that might explain the existence of growth stanzas observed in wild yellowfin tuna: (i) a lower food supply during juvenile stage in relation with high intra- and inter-species competition and (ii) ontogenetic changes in food diet. Our results show that both assumptions are plausible although none of them is self-sufficient to explain the intensity of growth acceleration observed in wild Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna, suggesting that the two factors may act in concert. Our study shows that the yellowfin growth pattern is likely due to behavioral changes triggered by the acquisition of physiological abilities and anatomical traits through ontogeny that result in a major change in intensity of schooling and in a shift in the biotic habitat and trophic ecology of this commercially important tuna species.
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Submitted on : Monday, October 17, 2022 - 7:54:52 AM
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E. Dortel, Laure Pecquerie, E. Chassot. A Dynamic Energy Budget simulation approach to investigate the eco-physiological factors behind the two-stanza growth of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares). Ecological Modelling, 2020, 437, pp.109297. ⟨10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2020.109297⟩. ⟨hal-02992798⟩



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