MEPS 346:203-217 (2007)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps06953

Effect of seasonal variation in trophic conditions and the gametogenic cycle on δ13C and δ15N levels of diploid and triploid Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas

N. Malet1,3,*, P.-G. Sauriau1, N. Faury2, P. Soletchnik2, G. Guillou1

1CRELA (UMR 6217 CNRS-IFREMER-ULR), Place du Séminaire, BP 5, 17137 L’Houmeau, France
2IFREMER, Laboratoire Environnement Ressources Poitou-Charente (LERPC), BP 133, 17390 La Tremblade, France
3Present address: Great Lakes WATER Institute, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 600 East Greenfield Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53204, USA
*Email:

ABSTRACT: Carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes were investigated in separate organs of diploid and sterile triploid Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas for 13 mo, together with changes in chemical and isotope composition of suspended matter sampled from an intertidal mudflat within Marennes-Oléron Bay, France. Particulate organic matter (POM) was a mixture of pelagic and benthic material with a predominance of neritic phytoplankton in spring, and resuspended microphytobenthos in summer and autumn. A remarkable shift of +3‰ in δ13C was reflected in both diploids and triploids from spring to summer, and further temporal differences were observed amongst their tissues. Seasonal changes in POM δ15N were also reflected in oyster tissues, with digestive gland and muscle tissues showing the largest and the least variability, respectively. Use of δ13C and C:N ratio relationships in separate tissues allowed for an assessment of the influences of trophic condition, seasonal changes, and gametogenic cycle on tissue δ13C. Diploid digestive gland δ13C matched those of gonads, and differences between diploids and triploids in digestive gland and mantle δ13C were less than –1‰ during gametogenesis. The reproductive and rest periods were easily distinguished in these tissues and were characterised by enriched δ13C values in summer–autumn compared with spring, which is consistent with POM δ13C seasonal changes. A similar trend was observed in muscle, with a preferential incorporation of 13C-enriched carbon during the summer–autumn growing season. However, despite the similar roles of mantle and digestive gland in lipid synthesis in both diploids and triploids, the correlation of δ13C with the C:N ratio highlighted the transfer of lipids to gonads in diploids and their differential allocation to growing tissues in sterile triploids.


KEY WORDS: Crassostrea gigas · Stable isotopes · Reproduction · Ploidy · Lipids


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Cite this article as: Malet N, Sauriau PG, Faury N, Soletchnik P, Guillou G (2007) Effect of seasonal variation in trophic conditions and the gametogenic cycle on δ13C and δ15N levels of diploid and triploid Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 346:203-217. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps06953

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