Modelling integrated multi-trophic aquaculture: Optimizing a three trophic level system

Luana Granada*, Sofia Lopes, Sara C. Novais, Marco F.L. Lemos

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


    As a fast-growing food production industry, aquaculture is dealing with the need for intensification due to the global increasing demand for fish products. However, this also implies the use of more sustainable practices to reduce negative environmental impacts currently associated with this industry, including the use of wild resources, destruction of natural ecosystems, eutrophication of effluent receiving bodies, impacts due to inadequate medication practices, among others. Using multi-species systems, such as integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, allows to produce economically important species while reducing some of these aquaculture concerns, through biomitigation of aquaculture wastes and reduction of diseases outbreaks, for example. Applying mathematical models to these systems is crucial to control and understand the interactions between species, maximizing productivity, with important environmental and economic benefits. Here, the application of some equations and models available in the literature, regarding basic parameters, is discussed – population dynamics, growth, waste production, and filtering rate – when considering the description and optimization of a theoretical integrated multi-trophic aquaculture operation composed by three trophic levels.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)90-97
    Number of pages8
    Early online date19 May 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


    This study had the support of Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), through the strategic projects UID/MAR/04292/2013 granted to MARE and UID/MAT/04106/2013 granted to CIDMA, and the grants awarded to Luana Granada ( SFRH/BD/102036/2014 ) and Sara Novais ( SFRH/BPD/94500/2013 ). This work was also supported by the Integrated Programme of SR&TD “Smart Valorization of Endogenous Marine Biological Resources Under a Changing Climate” (reference Centro- 01-0145-FEDER-000018 ), co-funded by Centro 2020 program, Portugal 2020, European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund .

    FundersFunder number
    Centro 2020 program
    Sara NovaisSFRH/BPD/94500/2013
    European Commission
    Fundação para a Ciência e a TecnologiaUID/MAR/04292/2013, UID/MAT/04106/2013
    European Regional Development Fund01-0145-FEDER-000018
    Center for Research and Development in Mathematics and ApplicationsSFRH/BD/102036/2014


      • IMTA
      • Mathematical modelling
      • Recirculating aquaculture system
      • Sustainability


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