, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 26–33 | Cite as

Aspects of feeding, including estimates of gut residence time, in three mytilid species (Bivalvia, Mollusca) at two contrasting sites in the Cape Peninsula, South Africa

  • B. L. Bayne
  • D. W. Klumpp
  • K. R. Clarke
Original Papers


Individuals of three mytilid species (Choromytilus meridionalis; Perna perna; Aulacomya ater) from two sites characterised by different qualities of ration available to these suspension feeders showed different rates in some components of the physiological energy budget. These differences included higher feeding (=clearance) and respiration rates, but lower absorption efficiencies, in individuals from the site with the higher quality ration. A novel technique was employed to estimate the residence time of food particles in the digestive gland. Individuals showing higher feeding rates had shorter residence times than those feeding more slowly and a significant positive correlation was demonstrated between residence time and absorption efficiency. These relationships, together with an exponential increase in rates of respiratory heat loss with an increase in ingested ration, are suggested to provide these animals with a physiological flexibility to compensate for reduced food quality in a way consistent with some theoretical predictions. Such compensations are made more effective if the total gut capacity can also change in response to the quality of the ration.


Bivalvia Mollusca Digestive Gland Absorption Efficiency Perna 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bayne BL, Widdows J (1978) The physiological ecology of two populations of Mytilus edulis L. Oecologia (Berlin) 37:137–162Google Scholar
  2. Bayne BL, Newell RC (1983) Physiological energetics of marine molluscs. In: Saleuddin ASM, Wilbur KM (eds) The Mollusca, Vol 4, Physiology, Part 1. Academic Press, New York, pp 407–514Google Scholar
  3. Bayne BL, Widdows J, Newell RIE (1977) Physiological measurements on estuarine bivalve molluscs in the field. In: Keegan BF, O'Ceidigh P, Boaden PJS (eds) Biology of benthic organisms. Pergamon Press, Oxford, pp 57–68Google Scholar
  4. Berry PF, Schleyer MH (1983) The brown mussel Perna perna on the Natal coast, South Africa: utilisation of available food and energy budget. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 13:201–210Google Scholar
  5. Brown PC (1981) Pelagic phytoplankton, primary production and nutrient supply in the southern Benguela region. Trans R Soc S Africa 44:347–355Google Scholar
  6. Calow P (1975) The feeding strategies of two freshwater gastropods, Ancylus fluviatilis Müll. and Planorbis contortus Linn. (Pulmonata), in terms of ingestion rates and absorption efficiencies. Oecologia (Berlin) 20:33–49Google Scholar
  7. Cammen KN (1980) Ingestion rate: an empirical model for aquatic deposit feeders and detritovores. Oecologia (Berlin) 44:303–310Google Scholar
  8. Conover RJ (1966) Assimilation of organic matter by zooplankton. Limnol Oceanogr 11:338–345Google Scholar
  9. Field JG (1983) Coastal ecosystems: flow patterns of energy and matter. In: Kinne O (ed) Marine Ecology Vol 5, Springer, Berlin (in press)Google Scholar
  10. Griffiths RJ (1980a) Filtration, respiration and assimilation in the black mussel, Choromytilus meridionalis. MarEcolProgr Ser 3:63–70Google Scholar
  11. Griffiths RJ (1980b) Natural food availability and assimilation in the bivalve Choromytilus meridionalis. MarEcolProgr Ser 3:151–156Google Scholar
  12. Griffiths RJ (1981) Population dynamics and growth of the bivalve Choromytilus meridionalis (Kr) at different tidal levels. Est Coast Shelf Sci 12:101–118Google Scholar
  13. Griffiths RJ, Buffenstein R (1981) Aerial exposure and energy input in the bivalve Choromytilus meridionalis (Kr). J exp mar Biol Ecol 52:219–229Google Scholar
  14. Griffiths CL, King JA (1979) Some relationships between size, food availability and energy balance in the ribbed mussel Aulacomya ater. Mar Biol 51:141–149Google Scholar
  15. Hawkins AJS, Bayne BL (1984) Seasonal variation in the balance between physiological mechanisms of feeding and digestion in Mytilus edulis (Bivalvia: Mollusca) Mar Biol (in press)Google Scholar
  16. Kiørboe T, Møhlenberg F, Nøhr O (1980) Feeding, particle selection and carbon absorption in Mytilus edulis in different mixtures of algae and resuspended bottom material. Ophelia 19:193–205Google Scholar
  17. Kiørboe T, Møhlenberg F, Nøhr O (1981) Effect of suspended bottom material or growth and energetics in Mytilus edulis. Mar Biol 61:283–288Google Scholar
  18. Lehman JT (1976) The filter feeder as an optimal forager, and the predicted shapes of feeding curves. Limnol Oceanogr 21:501–516Google Scholar
  19. Møhlenberg F, Kiørboe T (1981) Growth and energetics in Spisula subtruncata (da Costa) and the effect of suspended bottom material. Ophelia 20:79–90Google Scholar
  20. Nash JT (1979) Compact numerical methods for computers: Linear algebra and functional minimisation. Adam Hilger, BristolGoogle Scholar
  21. Newell RC, Field JG (1983a) The contribution of bacteria and detritus to carbon and nitrogen flow in a benthic community. Mar Biol Lett 4:23–36Google Scholar
  22. Newell RC, Field JG (1983b) Relative flux of carbon and nitrogen in a kelp-dominated system. Mar Biol Lett 4:249–257Google Scholar
  23. Newell RIE, Jordan SJ (1983) Preferential ingestion of organic material by the American oyster Crassostrea virginica. Mar Ecol Progr Ser 13:47–53Google Scholar
  24. Platt AM (1971) Studies on the digestive diverticula of Mytilus edulis L.PhD Thesis, Queens University, Belfast, Northern IrelandGoogle Scholar
  25. Seiderer LJ, Newell RC, Cook PA (1982) Quantitative significance of style enzymes from two marine mussels (Choromytilus meridionalis Kr. and Perna perna L.) in relation to diet. Mar Biol Lett 3:257–271Google Scholar
  26. Sheldon RW (1972) Size separation of marine seston by membrane and glass-fibre filters. Limnol Oceanogr 17:494–498Google Scholar
  27. Stuart V (1982a) Studies on the utilisation of kelp detritus by the ribbed mussel Aulacomya ater (Molina). PhD Thesis, University of Cape Town, South AfricaGoogle Scholar
  28. Stuart V (1982b) Absorbed ration, respiratory costs and resultant scope for growth in the mussel Aulacomya ater (Molina) fed on a diet of kelp detritus of different ages. Mar Biol Lett 3:289–306Google Scholar
  29. Stuart V, Field JG, Newell RC (1982) Evidence for absorption of kelp detritus by the ribbed mussel Aulacomya ater using a new 41Cr labelled microsphere technique. Mar Ecol Progr Ser 9:263–271Google Scholar
  30. Taghon GL (1981) Beyond selection: Optimal ingestion rate as a function of food value. Am Natur 118:202–214Google Scholar
  31. Taghon GL, Self FRL, Jumars PA (1978) Predicting particle selection by deposit feeders: A model and its implications. Limnol Oceanogr 23:752–759Google Scholar
  32. Widdows J (1978) Combined effects of body size, food concentration and season on the physiology of Mytilus edulis. J Mar Biol Ass UK 58:109–124Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verla 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. L. Bayne
    • 1
  • D. W. Klumpp
    • 2
  • K. R. Clarke
    • 1
  1. 1.NERC Institute for Marine Environmental ResearchPlymouthEngland
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of Cape TownSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations