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Is interference competition responsible for density-dependent mortality of larval Macoma balthica (L.)?
Bos, O.G.; van der Meer, J. (2005). Is interference competition responsible for density-dependent mortality of larval Macoma balthica (L.)?, in: Bos, O.G. (2005). Recruitment variation in Macoma balthica (L.): is there a role for larval food limitation?. pp. 41-54
In: Bos, O.G. (2005). Recruitment variation in Macoma balthica (L.): is there a role for larval food limitation?. PhD Thesis. Rijksuniversiteit Groningen: Groningen. ISBN 90-367-2356-6. 160 pp., more

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Keywords
    Competition; Density dependence; Mortality causes; Macoma balthica (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; ANE, Southern Wadden Sea [gazetteer]; Marine

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  • Bos, O.G., more
  • van der Meer, J., more

Abstract
    Long-term observations (1973-2001) of stock and recruitment of the intertidal bivalve Macoma balthica in the western Wadden Sea suggest that pre-recruitment mortality is strongly density-dependent. This may be caused by food limitation during the pelagic phase as a result of interference competition. To test this an experiment was run where M. balthica larvae were reared in different combinations of larval densities (0.5 to 32 larvae mr-1) and food densities (0-80 x 10³ cells ml-1). The results show that larval growth rate (mean: 3.8 µm d-1) increased with increasing food densities, but did not show a consistent pattern with increasing larval densities. Larval mortality (mean: 0.18 d-1) was neither affected by food density, nor by larval density. The results are discussed with reference to theoretical encounter rates among larvae, and between larvae and their prey.

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