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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 651:71-84 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13455

Exploring feeding physiology of Mytilus edulis across geographic and fjord gradients in low-seston environments

Laura Steeves1,*, Tore Strohmeier2, Ramón Filgueira2,3, Øivind Strand2

1Dalhousie University, Department of Biology, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
2Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Nordnes, Bergen 5871, Norway
3Dalhousie University, Marine Affairs Program, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: It is important to be able to predict the growth of filter-feeding bivalves, as they grow in dense populations both naturally and for commercial production. To understand the growth of bivalves it is necessary to have a mechanistic understanding of how they acquire energy through ingestion. This study was designed to understand if capture efficiency (CE), a primary step in ingestion for filter-feeders, is variable in the blue mussel Mytilus edulis. CE was measured using natural seston in 3 populations of naturally occurring M. edulis and within 2 populations along a fjord gradient. Differences in CE were found within a single population as well as along the fjord gradient. To determine if these differences were driven by short- or long-term changes, a single population of mussels was reciprocally transplanted between 2 locations along a fjord. This study is the first time CE has been measured within a population of M. edulis using a regional transplant experiment. Results showed that CE may vary between populations and change within populations, indicating that CE seems primarily driven by environmental cues. Pumping and overall ingestion rates differed between populations and varied within populations. For widely distributed species in changing environments, it is increasingly relevant to understand the limits of plasticity of specific traits to be able to predict their growth, survival, and distribution. Here, we aimed to provide a more mechanistic description of CE, pumping rate, and overall ingestion in M. edulis.


KEY WORDS: Mytilus edulis · Capture efficiency · Pumping rate · Ingestion · Plasticity · Acclimation


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Cite this article as: Steeves L, Strohmeier T, Filgueira R, Strand Ø (2020) Exploring feeding physiology of Mytilus edulis across geographic and fjord gradients in low-seston environments. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 651:71-84. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13455

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