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Protection against suspended sand: the function of the branchial membrane in the blue mussel Mytilus edulis
de Vooys, C.G.N. (2006). Protection against suspended sand: the function of the branchial membrane in the blue mussel Mytilus edulis. Helgol. Mar. Res. 60(3): 239-242. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10152-006-0020-0
In: Helgoland Marine Research. Springer: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISSN 1438-387X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Mytilus edulis Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Marine

Author  Top 
  • de Vooys, C.G.N.

Abstract
    Blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) living in estuaries have to cope with varying concentrations of suspended sand. Sand flowing through the inhalant siphons comes into the infrabranchial chamber. The inhalant siphon can be partially closed by the branchial membrane. As a result the inward flow decreases, and suspended sand sinks and can be eliminated. Experiments with mussels from three ecologically different locations showed about the same response of the branchial membrane on contact with suspended sand. The presence and function of the branchial membrane appears to be an adaptation of mussels to their estuarine environment.

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