MEPS 305:147-152 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/meps305147

Effect of temperature on filtration rate in the mussel Mytilus edulis: no evidence for temperature compensation

Christina Kittner*, Hans Ulrik Riisgård

Marine Biological Research Centre, University of Southern Denmark, Hindsholmvej 11, 5300 Kerteminde, Denmark

ABSTRACT: The filtration rate of Mytilus edulis as a function of acute change in temperature was measured by means of the clearance method in a group of mussels seasonally acclimated to 18°C. This was done by stepwise changes in temperature in order to both determine the temperature-tolerance interval within which the mussels were fully open, and to ensure that the acute effects were reversible. The filtration rate (F, ml min–1 ind.–1) as a function of temperature (T, °C) could be expressed by a regression line with the equation: F = 3.27T + 38.2 in the temperature-tolerance interval between 8.3 and 20°C. A reduction in temperature to below 8.3°C initiated valve closure, and at 6.1°C all mussels were completely closed. The same group of mussels was then acclimated to 11°C over a period of 5 d before the measurements were repeated, and the filtration rate as a function of temperature was subsequently found to be: F = 3.27T + 38.1 in the temperature-tolerance interval which had extended down to 4.1°C. Next, a group of mussels seasonally acclimated to about 15°C was split up into 3 subgroups which were exposed to 10.2, 15.6 and 20.3°C over the following 23 d. During the acclimation period, the filtration rate of fully open mussels was measured every 3 to 4 d in the 3 groups. Because none of the slopes of the 3 regression lines appreciably differed from 0, it is concluded that the acute effect of a change in temperature is not modified in M. edulis over a 3 wk acclimation period; i.e., there is no evidence for temperature compensation.


KEY WORDS: Clearance rate · Temperature tolerance · Acclimation · Adaptation · Feedingbehaviour


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