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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 636:77-89 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13223

Influence of the physiological condition of bivalve recruits on their post-settlement dispersal potential

Martin Forêt1,2,*, Frédéric Olivier2,3, Philippe Miner4, Gesche Winkler1, Jean-Bruno Nadalini1, Réjean Tremblay1

1Institut des Sciences de la Mer, Université du Québec à Rimouski, 310 Allee des Ursulines, Rimouski, QC G5L 3A1, Canada
2Unité Mixte de Recherche ‘Biologie des organismes et écosystèmes aquatiques’ (BOREA, UMR 7208), Sorbonne Universités, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, Université des Antilles, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement-207; CP53, 61 rue Buffon 75005 Paris, France
3MNHN, Station Marine de Concarneau, place de la croix, BP 225, 29182 Concarneau cedex, France
4Ifremer, LEMAR UMR 6539 CNRS/UBO/IRD/Ifremer, Centre de Bretagne, CS 10070, 29280 Plouzané, France
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Secondary dispersal (= migration) of bivalves occurs after metamorphosis and is a key recruitment process that can radically change patterns of primary settlement. An example of secondary dispersal is active migration behavior of bivalve recruits such as in bysso-pelagic drift. We hypothesize that these active migrations represent an energy cost for recruits and that the ability to actively migrate will depend upon the recruit’s physiological profile (quantity and quality of energy reserves). In lab experiments, we hatched 4 batches of recruits of Venus verrucosa with different physiological profiles by varying rearing temperature and diet composition. We then introduced these recruits into a fall velocity tube (5 m height) to estimate their vertical fall velocity as a proxy of their dispersal potential: slower fall velocity implies enhanced dispersal potential. We also compared alive vs. passive (dead) recruits to assess behavioral differences. Fall velocity increased logarithmically with recruit volume for each treatment, and no differences between active and passive individuals were observed for batches reared at 20°C with a mixture of Tisochrysis lutea and Chaetoceros gracilis. By contrast, active recruits in 2 other treatments (T. lutea at 20°C and a mix of C. gracilis and T. lutea at 15°C) significantly decreased their fall velocity regardless of their volume. Moreover, the ability of recruits to control their fall velocity by their behavior was correlated with triglyceride content. Recruits with the highest energy reserves had the greatest capacity to decrease their fall velocity, which suggests a major role of physiological conditions on potential secondary dispersal. We also used a benthic flume to test the substrate selection ability of recruits depending on their physiological profile and found no differences between physiologically different batches. However, V. verrucosa recruits preferred fine sediments, unlike adults, which live mainly in coarse sediment habitats; such difference in substrate preference suggests potential secondary migrations between nursery and adult areas.


KEY WORDS: Secondary migrations · Physiology · Behavior · Energetic reserves · Bivalve recruits · Venus verrucosa


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Cite this article as: Forêt M, Olivier F, Miner P, Winkler G, Nadalini JB, Tremblay R (2020) Influence of the physiological condition of bivalve recruits on their post-settlement dispersal potential. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 636:77-89. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13223

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