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The physiological basis for faster growth in the Sydney rock oyster, Saccostrea commercialis
Bayne, B.L.; Svensson, S.; Nell, J.A. (1999). The physiological basis for faster growth in the Sydney rock oyster, Saccostrea commercialis. Biol. Bull. 197(3): 377-387
In: Biological Bulletin. Marine Biological Laboratory: Lancaster. ISSN 0006-3185, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Bayne, B.L.
  • Svensson, S.
  • Nell, J.A.

    Sydney rock oysters were sampled from a mass selection experiment for growth (the "selected" category) and from a control ("not selected") population and held in the laboratory at three ration levels. We evaluated three models to explain faster rates of growth by selected oysters. Selection resulted in oysters feeding at up to twice the rate and with greater metabolic efficiency than controls. A field experiment confirmed that selection leads to faster rates of feeding across a wide range of food concentrations. Selected oysters also grew more efficiently, at a smaller cost of growth (Cg): mean values for Cg were 0.43 J x J(-1) in selected individuals and 0.81 J x J(-1) in the controls. In contrast, oysters in both categories showed similar metabolic rates at maintenance, i.e., at a ration supporting zero growth. There was no evidence that differential energy allocation affected the balance between total metabolic requirements above and below zero net energy balance. By experimenting with selected and control oysters of different sizes and ages, then standardizing the data for size, we found no effects of age on the differences due to selection. Faster-growing oysters feed more rapidly; invest more energy per joule ingested; show a higher net growth efficiency; and are able to allocate less energy per unit of tissue growth, than slower-growing individuals.

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