Comparison between model estimates and field data show that the DEB model successfully describes the energetics of growth and reproduction in a number of flatfish species. Differences between species could be captured in the same model using different parameter values. Intraspecific differences in growth between males and females are mainly caused by differences in maximum surace area-specific ingestion rates.
Differences between species are reflected in the surface area-specific maximum ingestion rate, the energy partitioning over growth and reproduction and in egg volume. According to these parameters at 283 K (10°C), the species could be ranked as follows: surface area-specific maximum ingestion rate (W m-2) plaice: 56.6; flounder: 54.5; sole: 45.1 and dab: 36.1 W m-2. Fraction of energy allocated to reproduction (-): flounder: 0.35; plaice: 0.15; dab: 0.15 and sole 0.10. As a consequence of these differences in surface area-specific maximum ingestion rate and in the fraction of energy allocated to reproduction, the gonad masses (g) of a female of 0.5 kg wet mass differs considerably: flounder: 149; plaice: 86; sole 70; and dab: 69 g. However, due to differences in egg size between species, the potential egg production shows a completely different pattern: dab: 2200 103; flounder: 1560 103; sole 343 103 and plaice: 130 103 eggs.