AB 23:167-182 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00618

Variability in diel and seasonal in situ metabolism of the tropical gastropod Tectus niloticus

A. Lorrain1,*, J. Clavier2, J. Thébault2, L. Tremblay-Boyer3, F. Houlbrèque4, E. Amice2, M. Le Goff2, L. Chauvaud2

1IRD, Laboratoire des Sciences de l’Environnement Marin (UMR 6539 CNRS/UBO/IRD/IFREMER), BP A5,
98848 Nouméa cedex, New Caledonia, France
2Université de Brest, Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, Laboratoire des Sciences de l’Environnement Marin (UMR 6539 CNRS/UBO/IRD/IFREMER), 29280 Plouzané, France
3Biodiversity Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada
4IRD, UR CoRéUs 2, BP A5, 98848 Nouméa cedex, New Caledonia, France
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Researchers often use metabolic measurements in the field over narrow time periods to estimate an organism’s metabolism over large time scales. Here, we measured in situ respiration, calcification and excretion rates of the tropical gastropod Tectus niloticus L. through benthic chamber experiments. Our samples spanned a 21 h time frame and were taken during both the warm and cool seasons. We assessed diel and seasonal variability in metabolic rates, as well as the effect of individual size and the contribution of shell epi- and endobionts. Our results show that metabolic rates vary through time at both diel and seasonal scales, as measured fluxes for respiration and calcification were significantly higher at night during the warm season. This nocturnal pattern was not significant in the cool season. Size effects were significant with higher respiration and calcification rates for small individuals regardless of the season, although the difference tended to be more pronounced in the warm season. We also found that shell epi- and endobionts made an important contribution to respiration, as 40 and up to 100% of total measured fluxes for night and day, respectively, could be attributed to the shell community. More importantly, the direction of the measured flux was occasionally opposite that of the individual trochus, highlighting that the contribution of shell epi- and endobionts must be accounted for in order to achieve an accurate understanding of individual metabolism. Lastly, depending on the time of day and season when measurements are taken, ignoring diel or seasonal variations in metabolic rates could result in important under- or overestimation of the contributions of gastropods to carbon and calcium carbonate fluxes in coastal ecosystems.


KEY WORDS: Gastropod · Seasonal variations · Diel variations · Size · Carbon fluxes · CO2 · CaCO3 · New Caledonia


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Cite this article as: Lorrain A, Clavier J, Thébault J, Tremblay-Boyer L and others (2015) Variability in diel and seasonal in situ metabolism of the tropical gastropod Tectus niloticus. Aquat Biol 23:167-182. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00618

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