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An environmentally induced tidal periodicity of microgrowth increment formation in subtidal populations of the clam Ruditapes philippinarum

Abstract : The periodicity of increment formation in the shell of the Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum was investigated in the subtidal zone of the Auray River estuary (South Brittany, France). Calcein markings were performed at different periods between May and October 2007 using in situ benthic chambers tented by scuba divers. This study shows that shell microgrowth increments were well-defined and deposited with a tidal periodicity in the subtidal zone, providing the calendar base for high-resolution ecological studies and environmental reconstruction from these R. philippinarum shells. Endogenous rhythmicity in shell microgrowth increment formation and oxygen consumption was previously documented in this species from intertidal flats. Our study suggests that, in the subtidal zone, Manila clams' rhythmic activity may be controlled by such an endogenous process, synchronized by tidal cues. As in other bivalves, R. philippinarum is an osmoconformer euryhaline bivalve. The tidal rhythmicity of shell microgrowth increments in subtidal specimens of this species could be explained by a behavioral adaptation of valve closure at low tide to protect the clam from low salinities and/or to synchronize with food availability. Finally, large inter-individual variability in tidally associated growth rates and asynchronous growth breaks were observed, and could be due to genetic variability between individuals, asynchronous partial spawning events or predation.
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https://hal.univ-brest.fr/hal-00669639
Contributor : Catherine Bertignac <>
Submitted on : Monday, February 13, 2012 - 3:42:42 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 3:38:17 AM

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Céline Poulain, Anne Lorrain, Jonathan Flye-Sainte-Marie, Erwan Amice, Eric Morize, et al.. An environmentally induced tidal periodicity of microgrowth increment formation in subtidal populations of the clam Ruditapes philippinarum. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Elsevier, 2011, 397 (1), pp.58-64. ⟨10.1016/j.jembe.2010.11.001⟩. ⟨hal-00669639⟩

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