Abstract Title

Session S-09E: Marine, Freshwater and Terrestrial Species: Threats and Conservation

Presenter/Author Information

Michelle McCarthaFollow

Keywords

Species and Food Webs

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Description

As intertidal communities face increases in temperature and hydrodynamic disturbances due to predicted climate change, organisms may find it necessary to reallocate energy between normal physiological processes for survival. Specifically, mussels must distribute energy between processes such as attachment, shell growth, metabolism, and reproduction, all of which may be influenced not only by seasonality, but also by natural environment conditions (temperature, pCO2, etc.). Examining energy distributions is the first step in predicting responses to environmental change. In the present study, we investigated the energetic cost of byssus production for the intertidal mussel Mytilus trossulus. After performing an initial pilot study to manipulate amounts of byssus produced through controlling how often the mussels had to replenish byssal threads (ie. daily, weekly, never), we exposed collected mussels to each treatment in triplicate for a four-week period. We then assessed the energetic cost associated with byssus production in relation to energy required for other processes such as growth and development of the focal species. For all measures (length, width, height, shell mass, etc.) forcing the mussel to produce more byssus resulted in a decrease in growth rate; this was significant for length and shell mass. For this study, activities for making longer shells were first to be forfeited as mussels were manipulated into manufacturing greater amounts of byssus during a season where developing reproductive structures were of highest priority. This research fills the existing gap, which identifies byssus production as a major energetic constraint in organisms that play an important role both economically through aquaculture as well as in intertidal marine ecosystems. As these globally marketed organisms are placing more amounts of energy towards byssus production, less energy is available for growth. Coupled with modeling predictions, this information could be useful for aquaculture practices as well as understanding physical changes mussels undergo in response predicted climate change.

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May 1st, 5:00 PM May 1st, 6:30 PM

Shifts in energy elucidate responses to changes in the environment in Mytilus trossulus

Room 6C

As intertidal communities face increases in temperature and hydrodynamic disturbances due to predicted climate change, organisms may find it necessary to reallocate energy between normal physiological processes for survival. Specifically, mussels must distribute energy between processes such as attachment, shell growth, metabolism, and reproduction, all of which may be influenced not only by seasonality, but also by natural environment conditions (temperature, pCO2, etc.). Examining energy distributions is the first step in predicting responses to environmental change. In the present study, we investigated the energetic cost of byssus production for the intertidal mussel Mytilus trossulus. After performing an initial pilot study to manipulate amounts of byssus produced through controlling how often the mussels had to replenish byssal threads (ie. daily, weekly, never), we exposed collected mussels to each treatment in triplicate for a four-week period. We then assessed the energetic cost associated with byssus production in relation to energy required for other processes such as growth and development of the focal species. For all measures (length, width, height, shell mass, etc.) forcing the mussel to produce more byssus resulted in a decrease in growth rate; this was significant for length and shell mass. For this study, activities for making longer shells were first to be forfeited as mussels were manipulated into manufacturing greater amounts of byssus during a season where developing reproductive structures were of highest priority. This research fills the existing gap, which identifies byssus production as a major energetic constraint in organisms that play an important role both economically through aquaculture as well as in intertidal marine ecosystems. As these globally marketed organisms are placing more amounts of energy towards byssus production, less energy is available for growth. Coupled with modeling predictions, this information could be useful for aquaculture practices as well as understanding physical changes mussels undergo in response predicted climate change.