Ms. Célia Cristina de Aguiar Carvalho

Address: NIOZ - Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Dept. Marine Ecology, Texel, Nederland
Free University, Dept. Theoretical Biology, Amsterdam
Curriculum vitae
Specialization: Zootechnic Engineering
Project: Intra- and interspecific variation of physiological capacities

Intra- and interspecific variation of physiological capacities

Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), sole (Solea spp.), Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) and European sprat (Sprattus sprattus) have a considerable commercial importance in Europe. In fact, plaice and sole are the main target species for the European beam-trawl-fishery. In 1999, the globally catch reported for plaice and sole were 113 581 Mg and 43 879 Mg, respectively. The countries with largest catches for the first species were Netherlands (37 543 Mg) and Denmark (23 123 Mg), while for sole the biggest catches were registered in Netherlands (16 329 Mg) and France (8 203 Mg) (FAO 1999). Sprat is an important fisheries species in North Sea, Baltic and off Norwegian coasts, with a total catch of 684 164 Mg in 1999 (FAO 1999). Sprat catches are used in the reduction industry for fish meal, but they are locally targeted fisheries for human consumption (ICES). In 1999, the total Atlantic herring catch reported was 2 403 543 Mg. The countries with the largest catches were Norway (821 435 Mg) and Iceland (343 769 Mg) (FAO 1999).

These four species present a wide distribution and hence various genetic subpopulations along the European coast. Understanding the forces that create these spatial distributions is a major challenge to ecology, but also has clear economic benefits to humans, by allowing more precise assessments of managed stocks (Giske et al. 1998). While field studies may reveal patterns at a given time and place and laboratory investigations may isolate effects of single causes, models (such as the Dynamic Energy Budget model) may combine several forces in continuous space and time.

The overall aim of this doctoral program is to use the DEB model to better understand the geographical distribution of these species. The relationships between intra- and interspecific differences in DEB model parameters and environmental conditions (temperature, food conditions, salinity) will be described and analyzed. By knowing these relationships, scenarios of impacts of climate shifts on ecosystem productivity and biodiversity can be predicted.

In order to achieve the overall aim, it is intended to integrate the following objectives:

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