Energy balance of mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis: the effect of length and age
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Clearance and ingestion rates, absorption efficiencies and respiration rates were measured in mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis Lmk of different lengths (53 to 89 mm) and age (10 to 24 mo) from cultivation rafts in the Ría de Arosa (Galicia, Spain). The experiments were carried out either in the laboratory, using monoalgal food (Isochrysis galbana) with an organic content of 91%, or under natural conditions of food availability in cultivation rafts with seston, the organic content of which ranged from 33 to 69%. Food concentrations ranged from 0.57 to 1.00 mg l-1 of total particulate matter (TPM), a load which is below the threshold for the production of pseudofaeces in Mytilus. These experiments proved that the ingestion rate (IR = mg TPM h-1) of food increases with the size of the mussel (measured as g of soft-tissue dry weight [DW]) according to the power equation IR = 12.661DW0.619, this model accounting for over 90% of the variance of the IR. Behavioural patterns that tended to ...