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Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Transactions Of The American Fisheries Society





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To guide the selection of condition indices for juvenile fishes, we compared the ability of several indirect condition indices (those based on length-mass relationships, the hepatosomatic index, and relative lipid estimates from the Distell fish fatmeter) to assess energy density and lipid content of Summer Flounder Paralichthys dentatus, Striped BassMorone saxatilis, and Atlantic Croakers Micropogonias undulatus. These species use estuarine areas as nurseries, but they have different life history strategies and ecological niches that affect their energy storage strategies. We tested hypotheses that differences in the distribution and role of lipids as energy stores among species would influence the suitability of condition indices for estimating energy and lipid content. Length-based indices were most suitable for estimating energy and lipid content of juvenile Summer Flounder and Striped Bass, suggesting that length-based indices may be appropriate for juveniles that store energy as proteins (i.e., juveniles with low lipid content). The fatmeter suitably predicted energy and lipid content of Atlantic Croakers, indicating its potential for assessing condition of juveniles that store lipids for migration and that display a high range of observed lipid content. Even though a small size range was examined, fish length improved predictions of energy and lipid content for some of the indirect condition indices for Atlantic Croakers and Summer Flounder, suggesting that fish length should be considered when developing relationships among measures of condition. The selection of condition indices should be tailored to the life stage and species of interest based on the energy and lipid storage strategies used by the fish.




Cod Gadus-Morhua; Micropterus-Salmoides Lacepede; Plaice Pleuronectes-Platessa; Bass Dicentrarchus-Labrax; Herring Clupea-Harengus; Liver-Somatic Index; Largemouth Bass; Body-Composition; Atlantic Salmon; Proximate Composition

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.