Analyzing variations in life-history traits of Pacific salmon in the context of Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory.

L Pecquerie, L.R. Johnson, S.A.L.M. Kooijman, R.M. Nisbet

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


To determine the response of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) populations to environmental change, we need to understand impacts on all life stages. However, an integrative and mechanistic approach is particularly challenging for Pacific salmon as they use multiple habitats (river, estuarine and marine) during their life cycle. Here we develop a bioenergetic model that predicts development, growth and reproduction of a Pacific salmon in a dynamic environment, from an egg to a reproducing female, and that links female state to egg traits. This model uses Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory to predict how life history traits vary among five species of Pacific salmon: Pink, Sockeye, Coho, Chum and Chinook. Supplemented with a limited number of assumptions on anadromy and semelparity and external signals for migrations, the model reproduces the qualitative patterns in egg size, fry size and fecundity both at the inter- and intra-species levels. Our results highlight how modeling all life stages within a single framework enables us to better understand complex life-history patterns. Additionally we show that body size scaling relationships implied by DEB theory provide a simple way to transfer model parameters among Pacific salmon species, thus providing a generic approach to study the impact of environmental conditions on the life cycle of Pacific salmon. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-433
JournalJournal of sea research
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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