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Understanding latitudinal trends in fish body size through models of optimal seasonal energy allocation.
Marschall, Elizabeth*,1, Garvey, James2, 1 The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH2 Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL
ABSTRACT- For fish at high latitudes, short growing seasons should constrain size-at-age, although the converse often occurs. We used a dynamic-state variable model to find energy allocation strategies to length, fat, and ovaries that maximize expected egg production of largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides. We determined how latitudes and rations affect optimal allocation and then simulated growth using optimal strategies. A theoretical reciprocal transplant explored how latitude-specific optimal strategies affected growth at other latitudes. At low ration, allocation and growth were similar among latitudes, with length selected in small individuals and reproductive tissue and fat in large counterparts. At high rations, low-latitude fish invested most energy to length and reproduction; high-latitude fish allocated to length during summer and fat during fall, and developed ovaries earlier in the year. Transplants revealed that smaller size-at-age occurs in the north than the south, consistent with field patterns for largemouth bass. Although northern strategies allowed fish to be successful in the south, southern strategies were unsuccessful in the north. Latitude-specific energetic adaptations may compromise success of fish transplanted beyond their native distribution.
Key words: latitudinal gradients, optimal energy allocation, Micropterus salmoides