The comparative energetics of the ray-finned fish in an evolutionary context

Konstadia Lika*, Starrlight Augustine, Sebastiaan A.L.M. Kooijman

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    To address challenges in management and conservation of fishes and fisheries it is essential to understand their life histories and energetics. The Add-my-Pet (AmP) collection of data on energetics and Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) parameters currently contains 1150 of the 40000 extant species of fish. It gives 250-280 traits per species, depending on the model type that was applied, such as maximum reserve capacity, lifespan, specific respiration and precociality index, based on which the ray-finned fish (Actinopterygii) was compared with the four other fish classes (Cyclostomata, Chondrichthyes, Actinistia, Dipnoi) and the Tetrapoda. The Actinopterygii are the only vertebrate class that shows metabolic acceleration, and clearly so in only three sub-clades. Different from chondrichthyans, quite a few species follow the waste-to-hurry strategy, especially small bodied freshwater fish such as tropical annual killifish, but also in small minnows and darters in continental climates. We briefly discuss links between waste-to-hurry, which is associated with a large specific somatic maintenance, and sensitivity for pesticides. We discuss why this interferes with the physical co-variation between maximum reserve capacity and ultimate structural length or weight and explains why maximum reserve capacity increases with body length in chondrichthyans, but not in actinopterygians. Reserve capacity has relevance, e.g. mass-specific maintenance, starvation and the kinetics of lipophyllic compounds (such as pesticides), since reserve is relatively rich in lipids in fish. Also, unlike chondrichthyans, the size at birth is very small and not linked to ultimate size; we discuss the implications. Actinopterygians allocate more to soma, compared with chondrichthyans; the latter allocate more to maturity or reproduction. Actinopterygians, Actinistia and Dipnoi are near the supply-end of the supply-demand spectrum, while chondrichthyans clearly show demand properties.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)275-283
    Number of pages9
    JournalConservation Physiology
    Issue number1
    Early online date5 Jul 2022
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2022 The authors.


    • Add-my-Pet collection
    • Dynamic Energy Budgets
    • life history
    • metabolism
    • population growth rate
    • waste-to-hurry


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