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MEPS prepress abstract   -  DOI:

Larval energetics of the Sydney rock oyster Saccostrea glomerata and Pacific oyster Magallana gigas

Mitchell Gibbs, Elliot Scanes, Laura Parker, Maria Byrne, Wayne O’Connor, Patti Virtue, Pauline Ross*

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ABSTRACT: Larvae are a critical dispersal stage of marine invertebrates and their survival depends on nutrition and energetics. This study compared the size, survival, metabolic rate and egg and larval lipid class profiles of larvae of the endemic Sydney rock oyster, Saccostrea glomerata and the invasive Pacific oyster, Magallana gigas, through a period of starvation of five and nine days after fertilisation. Starved larvae grew without food until five days of age, at which point they stopped developing, but resumed growth when fed. Egg lipids profiles were comprised of 78.1 and 74.5% triacylglycerol (TAG), for M. gigas and S. glomerata respectively. When fed, larvae of M. gigas were significantly larger in size and had faster growth and similar survival compared to S. glomerata. When starved, larvae of M. gigas and S. glomerata grew at similar rates, and there was a trend for lower survival of M. gigas. Larval endogenous lipid reserves were deleted in the first 24 hours. Larvae of M. gigas had more total lipids and comparatively more diacylglycerols, monoacylglycerols, phospholipids and cholesterol, whereas S. glomerata had more diacylglycerols and produced sterol esters. Starvation altered the patterns of lipid assimilation and Metabolic Rates (MR) of larvae of M. gigas and S. glomerata differed over time. When starved, larvae of S. glomerata had greater capacity to cope with starvation compared to M. gigas perhaps due to an evolutionary history in oligotrophic estuaries. As the climate rapidly changes in this global hotspot, the future of S. glomerata remains uncertain.