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Environmental hypoxia but not minor shell damage affects scope for growth and body condition in the blue mussel Mytilus edulis (L

Author(s): Sanders T, Widdicombe S, Calder-Potts R, Spicer JI

Abstract

The effects of short-term (7 d) exposure to environmental hypoxia (2.11 mg O2 L−1; control: 6.96 mg O2 L−1) and varying degrees of shell damage (1 or 2, 1 mm diameter holes; control: no holes) on respiration rate, clearance rate, ammonia excretion rate, scope for growth (SFG) and body condition index were investigated in adult blue mussels (Mytilus edulis). There was a significant hypoxia-related reduction in SFG (>6.70 to 0.92 J g−1 h−1) primarily due to a reduction in energy acquisition as a result of reduced clearance rates during hypoxia. Shell damage had no significant affect on any of the physiological processes measured or the SFG calculated. Body condition was unaffected by hypoxia or shell damage. In conclusion, minor physical damage to mussels had no effect on physiological energetics but environmental hypoxia compromised growth, respiration and energy acquisition presumably by reducing feeding rates.

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