Applying Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory to simulate growth and bio-energetics of blue mussels under low seston conditions

A Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) model for simulation of growth and bioenergetics of blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) has been tested in three low seston sites in southern Norway. The observations comprise four datasets from laboratory experiments (physiological and biometrical mussel data) and three datasets from in situ growth experiments (biometrical mussel data). Additional in situ data from commercial farms in southern Norway were used for estimation of biometricalrelationships in the mussels. Three DEB parameters (shape coefficient, half saturation coefficient, and somatic maintenance rate coefficient) were estimated from experimental data, and the estimated parameters were complemented with parameter values from literature to establish a basic parameter set. Model simulations based on the basic parameter set and site specific environmental forcing matched fairly well with observations, but the model was not successful in simulating growth at the extreme low seston regimes in the laboratory experiments in which the long period of negative growth caused negative reproductive mass. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the model was moderately sensitive to changes in the parameter and initial conditions. The results show the robust properties of the DEB model as it manages to simulate mussel growth in several independent datasets from a common basic parameter set. However, the results also demonstrate limitations of Chl a as a food proxy for blue mussels and limitations of the DEB model to simulate long term starvation. Future work should aim at establishing better food proxies and improving the model formulations of the processes involved in food ingestion and assimilation. The current DEB model should also be elaborated to allow shrinking in the structural tissue in order to produce more realistic growth simulations during long periods of starvation.


low seston, modelling, DEB theory, Mytilus edulis, mussel culture

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Rosland R, Strand O, Alunno-Bruscia Marianne, Bacher Cedric, Strohmeier T (2009). Applying Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory to simulate growth and bio-energetics of blue mussels under low seston conditions. Journal of Sea Research. 62 (2-3). 49-61.,

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