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Induction of anti-predator responses in the green-lipped mussel Perna viridis under hypoxia
Wang, Y.; Hu, M.; Shin, P.K.S.; Cheung, S.G. (2010). Induction of anti-predator responses in the green-lipped mussel Perna viridis under hypoxia. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 157(4): 747-754. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-009-1358-z
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Wang, Y.
  • Hu, M.
  • Shin, P.K.S.
  • Cheung, S.G.

Abstract
    Hypoxia due to the over enrichment of waters by nutrients is becoming a global problem. In mussels, enhanced byssus thread production is an important adaptation to the presence of crustacean predators and to energetic hydrodynamic regimes. Thread production is an energy-consuming process, so this study used the green mussel Perna viridis (L.) to examine the response to predator exposure combined with hypoxia. Hypoxia is common in sheltered bays in Hong Kong, and the mussels were collected in one such bay, Lok Wo Sha (latitude/longitude: 22º18' N/114º10' E) in January, 2009. The predator used in the experiments was the swimming crab Thalamita danae. Oxygen concentrations used in the 48-h experiments ranged from hypoxic to normoxic (1.5 ± 0.3 mg l-1, 3.0 ± 0.3 mg l-1 and 6.0 ± 0.3 mg l-1). Fewer byssus threads which were also shorter and thinner were produced at reduced oxygen levels, no matter if the predator was present or not; the frequency the mussels shed stalks was also lower. Mussels exposed to the predator, however, have enhanced byssus thread production at all oxygen levels when compared with the control. This has highlighted the significance of anti-predator responses for the survival of individuals even under a stressful environment in which energy supply is limited by aerobic metabolism. Interactive effects between oxygen level and predator exposure were observed for the byssus thread production (frequency of shed stalks, mean byssus thread length, cumulative byssus thread volume), with values obtained at 1.5 and 3.0 mg O2 l-1 being statistically indistinguishable for the control group without predator but not for the predator group. The lack of differences in the byssus thread production at lower oxygen levels in the absence of predator may indicate the minimum amount of byssus that is required for settlement on a substrate.

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