Marine Biology

, Volume 152, Issue 3, pp 713–724 | Cite as

Energy investment in the annual reproduction cycle of female red porgy, Pagrus pagrus (L.)

  • Eddie O. AristizabalEmail author
Research Article


Seasonal cycle in energy content of gonad, perivisceral fat, liver, and muscle was used to estimate the energy cost of spawning of female red porgy (Pagrus pagrus) from Buenos Aires coasts, Argentina. Spawning was observed primarily between November and January, although a low-intensity spawning was also observed at the beginning of this period. The energy required for gonad development of female red porgy (the difference between the maximum and minimum energy content of ovaries along the year) was 2,652 J g−1 dry weight or 558 kJ. Female red porgy expend 22.8% of their total body energy (3,481 kJ) during the spawning period. Of this energy, relative contributions from different sources were as follows: ovaries 62.5% (496 kJ), perivisceral fat 17.8% (142 kJ), liver 10.3% (82 kJ), and muscles 9.4% (75 kJ). Female spawners lost about 7.2% (119 g) of their total body weight (1,654 g) in the spawning period. From the 7.2% of the total weight lost, female gonad represented a relative reduction of 73.8% (87.6 g), the perivisceral fat declined by 5.7% (6.8 g), the liver declined by 10.6% (12.5 g), and muscle tissue exhibited a 10% loss in total weight (11.9 g). Reproductive effort represented 7.6% of food energy, while resting metabolism accounted for almost 38% of food energy. Despite the fact that red porgy females feed throughout the entire spawning period, it is shown that between pre-spawning (September, water temperature 15°C) and mid-spawning (December, water temperature 19°C) they lost 45 and 38% of their muscle and liver lipids, respectively, and 89% of the perivisceral fat associated with the gut and body cavity. Red porgy used both their energy reserves and food energy during ovarian maturation. This asynchronous species have a strategy of a lower energy allocation and a higher dependence of food during the spawning time (late-spring and summer) for successful reproduction.


Gonad Maturation Food Energy Southern Catfish Yellowfin Sole Somatic Energy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author is indebted to Jorge Sánchez for making chemical analyses and to M Sosa, J Guntre and A Bianca for their technical assistance in collecting fish from the Mar del Plata port. I thank D Hernández for analyzing data and M Radonic for her useful suggestions on the grammatical aspects. This article was improved by anonymous reviewers. All experiments in this manuscript comply with the current laws of the Republic of Argentina. INIDEP Contrib No. 1442.


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© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP)Mar del PlataArgentina

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