Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Research Publications: UM-SG-RS-2003-21


Bioenergetic modeling of the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) using the fish bioenergetics (3.0) computer program.




Brylawski, BJ; Miller, TJ


Bulletin of Marine Science 72(2):491-504


To understand better the ecology and growth dynamics of the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus). we developed a bioenergetic model based upon the Fish Bioenergetics 3.0 computer program. We summarized and analyzed existing data from published studies on the ecology and physiology of both blue crab and closely related species to parameterize the model. The respiration and excretion components were estimated directly from published studies. Parts of the consumption component were estimated indirectly. The resulting model was evaluated for applicability against known growth trajectories from field and laboratory studies. The model predicted observed growth and consumption to a first approximation. Inspection of model results suggest that improvements in our knowledge of temperature- and size-dependant consumption are required before a more predictive model can be developed. However, at this point the model is sufficiently accurate to explore some fishery-related questions.

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