Effects of variable ration levels on direct and indirect measures of growth in juvenile red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) Academic Article uri icon


  • Relationships between somatic growth (length and weight) and two indirect measures of growth (otolith growth, RNA/DNA ratio) were assessed for red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) under different feeding rations [0%, 2.5%, 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20% body weight (BW)/day] for 30 days. Representative samples from each ration level were taken in 10-day intervals between Day 0 and Day 30 for evaluation of direct and indirect growth measures. Positive correlations were observed between ration levels, somatic growth, and otolith growth. Statistical differences in weight and length of red drum were observed among ration levels by Days 10 and 20, respectively. Statistical differences for measures of otolith growth among ration levels were evident by Days 20 and 30. In addition, RNA/DNA ratios showed clear separation between fish that were starved and fish that were fed but demonstrated minimal separation among ration levels. Overall, the combination of a measure of somatic growth (weight) and a measure of otolith growth (otolith weight) resulted in the most statistical separation among ration levels. Findings from this study suggest that somatic growth, otolith growth and RNA/DNA ratios are suitable measures of relative growth of red drum; however, due to differences in sensitivity, caution must be exercised when using indirect growth (otolith growth, RNA/DNA ratios) measures to estimate recent growth. 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Johnson, M. W., Rooker, J. R., Gatlin, D. M., & Holt, G. J.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Johnson, MW||Rooker, JR||Gatlin, DM||Holt, GJ

publication date

  • August 2002