Thermal time explains size-at-age variation in molluscs

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Authors F Broell, JSP McCain, CT Taggart
Journal/Conference Name Marine Ecology - Progress Series
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Temperature strongly influences growth and development in most ectotherms. The thermal integral, or growing degree day (GDD) metric (°C d), has been widely used to characterize plant, insect, and more recently fish growth and development variation. However, the GDD has not been widely examined among molluscan species. We examined 42 different sets of data drawn from the literature representing temperature-dependent growth and development variation among a variety of bivalve, cephalopod and gastropod species. We demonstrate that thermal time (GDD) is better able to explain temperature-dependent variation in size-at-age and size-at-stage compared to calendar time (d) and conclude that thermal time is the appropriate metric to use when assessing variation in growth and development among molluscs. We also address how thermal time may lead to more accurate comparisons among populations and how it may help diagnose other factors influencing growth variation.
Date of publication 2017
Code Programming Language R

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