This study evaluates the effects of three diets, at 3 different temperatures (15°, 18° and 22°C), on the energy budget of one-year-old abalone. The organisms were fed either an experimental diet based on fishmeal, a commercial abalone diet or fresh seaweed as control. The energy budget was estimated by measuring ingestion, egestion, somatic growth, reproductive investment, respiration, excretion and pedal mucus production. All variables were assessed in female abalone of 16.36 ± 0.17 mm length and 0.24 ± 0.03 g dry weight. Animals fed the formulated diets and cultured at 18°C and 22°C showed better growth than those fed the natural seaweed diet. However, abalone reared at 18°C and fed the formulated diets used 94% of the total energy consumed, with most of this energy allocated to growth, respiration and reproduction. Individuals cultured at 22°C channeled 22% less energy into growth and almost 2.5 times more energy into reproduction than those cultured at 18°C. Hence, diet and temperature were factors that combined to influence growth rates and gonad development in one-year-old Haliotis tuberculata.
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Vol. 25 • No. 2