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Particle transport in the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas)
Baker, S.M.; Levinton, J.S.; Ward, J.E. (2000). Particle transport in the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas). Biol. Bull. 199: 116-125
In: Biological Bulletin. Marine Biological Laboratory: Lancaster. ISSN 0006-3185, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Baker, S.M.
  • Levinton, J.S.
  • Ward, J.E.

    The capture, transport, and sorting of particles by the gills and labial palps of the freshwater mussel Dreissena polymorpha were examined by endoscopy and video image analysis. More specifically, the morphology of the feeding organs in living zebra mussels was described; the mode and speeds of particle transport on the feeding organs was measured; and the sites of particle selection in the pallial cavity were identified. Particle velocities (outer demibranch lamellae, 90 mm s 21 ; inner demibranch lamellae, 129 mm s 21 ; marginal food groove of inner demibranchs, 156 mm s 21 ; dorsal ciliated tracts, 152 mm s 21 ), as well as the movement of particles on the ctenidia and labial palps of D. polymorpha, are consistent with mucociliary, rather than hydrodynamic, transport. Particles can be sorted on the ctenidia of zebra mussels, resulting in a two-layer transport at the marginal food groove of the inner demibranch. That is: preferred particles are transported inside the marginal groove proper, whereas particles destined for rejection are carried superficially in a string of mucus. Sorting also occurs at the ventral margin of the outer demibranch; desirable particles are retained on the outer demibranch, whereas unacceptable particles are transferred to the inner demibranch and ultimately excluded from ingestion. We suggest that the structure of homorhabdic ctenidia does not preclude particle sorting, and that some ecosystem modifications attributed to zebra mussels may ultimately be due to ctenidial sorting mechanisms.

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