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Evaluation of three phytoplankton species as food for the pearl oyster Pinctada fucata
Hashimoto, T.; Hyodoh, K.; Hirose, T.; Nishikawa, S.; Katano, T.; Nakano, S.-i. (2008). Evaluation of three phytoplankton species as food for the pearl oyster Pinctada fucata. Aquacult. Int. 16(4): 309-318. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10499-007-9144-8
In: Aquaculture International. Springer: London. ISSN 0967-6120, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Algae; Growth; Mass mortality; Prey; Pinctada fucata (Gould, 1850) [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Hashimoto, T.
  • Hyodoh, K.
  • Hirose, T.
  • Nishikawa, S.
  • Katano, T.
  • Nakano, S.-i.

Abstract
    In the pearl cultivation farms of the Ehime Prefecture, Japan, mass mortalities of the pearl oyster Pinctada fucata have occurred since 1994. The occurrences of mass mortality roughly coincided with a shift of the dominant phytoplankton from Skeletonema and Chaetoceros to Chaetoceros and Nitzschia all of which belong to Bacillariophyceae. Hence, we evaluated Nitzschia, together with Chaetoceros and Isocrysis, as food for the oyster. Wet weights, lengths, widths, glycogen contents, and growth rates in terms of wet weight of the oysters in all the feeding treatments were significantly higher than those in the non-feeding treatment. The highest glycogen content (2.34%) and growth rate (2.21 g month-1) were found in the Chaetoceros treatment. Growth rate in the Isocrysis treatment (1.63 g month-1) was also high, although glycogen content in this treatment (0.41%) was low. In the Nitzschia treatment, growth rate of the oyster (0.94 g month-1) was the lowest and glycogen content (0.83%) was also low relative to that in the Chaetoceros treatment. Chlorophyll a concentration in fecal pellets was lowest in the Nitzschia treatment (<2.7 µg mg-1), suggesting more complete digestion of Nitzschia by the oyster. Thus, Nitzschia was edible and digestible but not assimilated by P. fucata. We propose the following scenario for the relationship between Nitzschia dominance and mass mortality. When Nitzschia dominates in a culture area, the physiological condition of P. fucata deteriorates due to low assimilation of Nitzschia by the oyster, followed by susceptibility of the oyster to infection by agents lethal to the oyster.

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