Energy reserves and nutrition are important factors affecting not only the survival and growth of organisms, but also the recruitment of species, thus they are key factors affecting the structure of marine ecosystems. In the marine environment, planktonic algae are the primary producers of essential components such as sterols and essential fatty acids. Higher consumers such as shellfish and finfish cannot synthesize essential fatty acids de novo and must acquire them via trophic accumulation up the food chain. The Fish and Shellfish Nutrition program focuses on
- understanding the sources of energetic and essential nutrients,
- elucidation of the processes of nutrient “upgrading” and transfer in pelagic food webs,
- identification of biochemical processes affecting fishery production in marine and coastal environments,
- investigation of the nutritional requirements of fish and shellfish, and
- examination of the physiological and biochemical changes affecting nutritional requirements that occur in different life stages of fish and shellfish.
Principal investigator: Dr. Fu-Lin Chu