Effects of seasonally varying temperature and salinity on the dynamics of sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis)

Rittenhouse, Matthew A. (2015) Effects of seasonally varying temperature and salinity on the dynamics of sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis). Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) are an economically significant parasite in salmonid aquaculture. They exhibit temperature-dependent development rates and salinity-dependent mortality, which can greatly impact sea lice population dynamics, but no deterministic models have incorporated these seasonal variables. To understand how seasonality affects sea lice population dynamics, I derive a delay differential equation model with temperature and salinity dependence. I find that peak reproductive output in Newfoundland and British Columbia differs by four months. A sensitivity analysis shows sea lice abundance is most sensitive to variation in mean annual water temperature and salinity, whereas it is lease sensitive to infection rate. Additionally, I investigate the effects of production cycle timing on sea lice management and find that optimal production cycle start times are between the 281st and 337th days of the year in Newfoundland. I also demonstrate that adjusting follow-up treatment timing in response to temperature can improve treatment regimes. My results suggest that effective sea lice management requires consideration of local temperature and salinity patterns.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11917
Item ID: 11917
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: "sea lice", "delay differential equations", parasites, aquaculture, "Lepeophtheirus salmonis"
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: December 2015
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Branchiura (Crustacea)--Effect of temperature on; Branchiura (Crustacea)--Effect of salt on; Branchiura (Crustacea)--Reproduction--Climatic factors; Branchiura (Crustacea)--Seasonal variations

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