Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Research Publications: UM-SG-RS-2006-06

Title: 

Temperature-dependent growth of the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus): a molt process approach.

Year: 

2006

Authors: 

Brylawski, BJ; Miller, TJ

Source: 

Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 63(6):1298-1308

DOI: 

10.1139/F06-011

Abstract: 

Crustaceans display discrete and biphasic growth as a result of the molting process, so the traditionally used von Bertalanffy growth model does not capture well the phenomena associated with molting-based growth. A molt-process model can predict crustacean growth, including the temperature dependence of intermolt period that can produce the extended overwintering phenomena during which growth ceases. This study parameterized a molt-process model for the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus; Portunidae). Crab growth histories were observed for individual crabs held in field enclosures and temperature-controlled, recirculating tanks. A growth-based temperature of torpor (T-min) of 10.8 degrees C was determined. A mean growth per molt of 119.5% increase in carapace width was observed. The average intermolt period observed was 536 +/- 231 degree-days. The predictive ability of these growth parameter estimates was evaluated against growth observed in the field based on data on interannual changes in size frequencies of crabs from a winter dredge survey. The evaluated model was used to explore recruitment timing in warm (1996) and cold (1998) years. A 10% shift in the timing of juvenile crabs becoming available for legal exploitation was predicted from the simulations.

Related Research Project(s) Funded by Maryland Sea Grant: 

Maryland Sea Grant Topic(s): 

'Related Research Project(s)' link to details about research projects funded by Maryland Sea Grant that led to this publication. These details may include other impacts and accomplishments resulting from the research.

'Maryland Sea Grant Topic(s)' links to related pages on the Maryland Sea Grant website.