Marine Biology

, Volume 160, Issue 6, pp 1427–1439 | Cite as

A new method for high-resolution bivalve growth rate studies in hydrothermal environments

  • K. Nedoncelle
  • F. Lartaud
  • M. de Rafelis
  • S. Boulila
  • N. Le Bris
Original Paper


The age and shell growth rate of deep-sea hydrothermal bivalves were investigated for the first time using in situ chemical staining combined with high-resolution micro-increment analysis. A staining chamber developed for this purpose was applied to a patch of Bathymodiolusthermophilus mussels at 2,500 m depth at the 9°47′N vent field on the East Pacific Rise (EPR) in May 2010. This approach minimizes disturbance of the mussels in their habitat. Bathymodiolus thermophilus grows according to a circalunidian rhythm, with one increment formed each day, and displays tide-related growth rate variability. Based on the von Bertalanffy growth rate model, the largest shell collected (SL = 20.5 cm) would be 10.0 year old, with a growth rate of 4.2–1.1 cm year−1 as the shell ages. This fast growth rate is consistent with the instability of the environment in this section of the EPR and observed recolonization rates and could reflect a specific adaptation of this species.

Supplementary material

227_2013_2195_MOESM1_ESM.doc (34 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 33 kb)
227_2013_2195_MOESM2_ESM.docx (3.3 mb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 3409 kb)
227_2013_2195_MOESM3_ESM.docx (54 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 54 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Nedoncelle
    • 1
    • 2
  • F. Lartaud
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. de Rafelis
    • 3
  • S. Boulila
    • 3
  • N. Le Bris
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 8222LECOB, Observatoire OcéanologiqueBanyuls-sur-merFrance
  2. 2.CNRS, UMR 8222 LECOB, Observatoire OcéanologiqueBanyuls-sur-merFrance
  3. 3.UPMC Univ Paris 06, CNRS, UMR 7193, ISTePParis cedex 05France

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