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Adaptability of the feeding behavior of intertidal ribbed mussels Geukensia demissa to constant submersion



Adaptability of the feeding behavior of intertidal ribbed mussels Geukensia demissa to constant submersion







The ribbed mussel (Geukensia demissa, Dillwyn 1817) is a dominant benthic filter-feeder in salt marshes along the North American Atlantic Coast. It has been proposed that the cultivation and harvest of ribbed mussels could be used to bioremediate the eutrophication of coastal waters. To accomplish this, mussels would be grown in suspension culture underwater, which is different than this species natural, intertidal habitat in which they are exposed to a tidal regime of submersion and emersion. To assess possible effects of constant submersion upon the feeding behavior of G. demissa, we quantified filter-feeding activities of ribbed mussels collected from either an intertidal location or a permanently submerged (2 months) population in the same embayment. Filtration measurements to determine clearance rates were conducted in aquaria containing ultra-filtered seawater with cultured phytoplankton. show that mussels taken from the intertidal population had significantly higher filtration than the submerged population initially, but after 3 days of submersion in the aquaria, this difference disappeared. Moreover, all experimental G. demissa had higher clearance rates during natural low tide than during natural high tide. These results indicate a potential for ribbed mussels to be grown in suspension culture for nutrient bioextraction purposes.

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