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Length- and weight-dependent clearance rates of juvenile mussels (Mytilus edulis) on various planktonic prey items
Jacobs, P.; Troost, K.; Riegman, R.; van der Meer, J. (2015). Length- and weight-dependent clearance rates of juvenile mussels (Mytilus edulis) on various planktonic prey items. Helgol. Mar. Res. 69(1): 101-112.
In: Helgoland Marine Research. Springer: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISSN 1438-387X, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Mytilus edulis Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Juvenile; Mytilus edulis; Clearance rate; Isometrics; Planktonic prey; Variable retention

Authors  Top 
  • Jacobs, P.
  • Troost, K.
  • Riegman, R.
  • van der Meer, J., more

    Filtration capacity and feeding behaviour has been intensely studied for adult mussels (Mytilus edulis), but less information is available for juvenile mussels (1.5–25 mm, <1 year), especially in natural sea water. The recent introduction of mussel seed collectors in the Netherlands prompted the need for more detailed information on juvenile mussel behaviour. To estimate the impact of juvenile populations on ecosystem carrying capacity, information on clearance rate as well as usage of different prey items is essential. Clearance rates were measured in an experimental study, incubating juvenile mussels in natural sea water. Rates were related to isometrics as well as specified for the prey items bacteria, picophytoplankton (<3 µm), nanophytoplankton (3–20 µm), and ciliates. Results showed that the clearance rate of juvenile mussels depends on shell length2, while the relationship between clearance rate and weight was more variable. Length is thus a better parameter for estimating clearance rate than weight. Ciliates and nanophytoplankton were cleared at comparable, but variable rates, while picoalgae were cleared from the water at the rate of 11–64 % compared to nanophytoplankton. For bacteria, the clearance rate was on average 9 %. This study showed different retention of particles of similar size (picoalgae and bacteria) as well as variability in particle retention for the different prey items. This variable retention efficiency could not be related to seston concentration nor to dominance in cell size. The results from this study can be used to estimate the effect of mussel seed collectors on the carrying capacity of the Dutch Wadden Sea.

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