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Growth and mortality of transplanted juvenile hard clams Mercenaria mercenaria in the Northern Indian River Lagoon, Florida
Marelli, D.C.; Arnold, W.S. (1996). Growth and mortality of transplanted juvenile hard clams Mercenaria mercenaria in the Northern Indian River Lagoon, Florida. J. Shellfish Res. 15(3): 709-713
In: Journal of Shellfish Research. National Shellfisheries Association: Duxbury. ISSN 0730-8000, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Aquaculture; Growth; Mortality; Mercenaria mercenaria (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; ASW, USA, Florida, Indian River Lagoon [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Marelli, D.C.
  • Arnold, W.S.

Abstract
    Growth and mortality were examined in hatchery-produced, early-juvenile Mercenaria mercenaria transplanted to protected and unprotected plots at a site in the northern Indian River lagoon, Florida. Clam density and size were examined in both treatments five times in the year after transplantation. The growth of clams in both treatments was rapid and comparable to that of clams from other areas within the lagoon. Growth in the protected treatment was initially depressed, but after 363 days, clams from both treatments did not differ significantly in shell height (SH). The mortality of clams in both treatments was high, although significantly greater in the open treatment. Clams in the protected treatment died at a high rate until 80 days into the experiment (SH about 8 mm), beyond which no significant mortality occurred. This experiment suggests that (1) growth rates in the northern Indian River lagoon may favor future aquaculture ventures; (2) clams can be grown out in the lagoon (if protected from epibenthic predators) when they are 8 mm SH, much smaller than current aquaculture practice suggests; and (3) placing unprotected juvenile clams in situ at high densities is not an efficient stock-enhancement technique.

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