Date of Award

Spring 1992

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Ocean/Earth/Atmos Sciences



Committee Director

John R. McConaugha

Committee Member

Judith M. Capuzzo

Committee Member

Gregory Cutter


Food quality, especially ω3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), can affect the physiology and metabolic efficiency of larvae of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus. These affects may correlate with success in development and juvenile recruitment.

Larvae were exposed to two diets differing quantitatively in ω3 PUFA and respiration, excretion, growth, and feeding rates were measured for each larval stage and the megalopal stage. The energy partitioned to molts and specific dynamic action was also measured. T

he ω3 PUFA enriched diet resulted in a lower respiration rate when compared to the unsupplemented diet, but there was little differences in excretion rates. ω3 PUFA may affect the efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation and ATP production, which affects the demand for oxygen. Excretion is a function of amino acid deamination and probably did not differ between diets because protein levels were held relatively constant.