Marine Biology

, 167:20 | Cite as

Annual shell growth patterns of three venerid bivalve mollusk species in the subtropical northwestern Pacific as revealed by sclerochronological and stable oxygen isotope analyses

  • Kazushige TanabeEmail author
  • Tsuzumi Miyaji
  • Naoko Murakami-Sugihara
  • Kotaro Shirai
  • Kazuyoshi Moriya
Original Paper


Annual shell growth patterns of the three venerid bivalve species, Gafrarium pectinatum, Pitar citrinus, and Katelysia japonica were investigated based on the results of sclerochronological and stable oxygen isotope analyses of live-caught specimens from the intertidal zone of Iriomote Island, southern Ryukyu Archipelago. In the study area, these three species temporally stopped shell deposition, when sea surface temperature (SST) dropped to 23–26 °C, during the first three years. However, the shutdown temperature for shell growth increased slightly to higher than 26 °C after 6 years old for G. pectinatum combined with a shortening in the length of shell growing period. Seasonal changes in daily shell growth in these species were controlled mainly by SST and primary production. Shell δ18O-derived summer temperatures recorded in the annual increments were higher by 3–5 °C than the highest SST records of the habitat. This data mismatch might be caused by an abrupt decrease in seawater δ18O values during the summer and fall typhoon seasons because of the influx of fresh water into the study area from nearby rivers. This study suggests that in the study area the annual shell growth patterns and shell δ18O values in the three species examined were controlled by mutually related biological and environmental factors such as ontogenetic age and seasonal changes in SST, salinity and primary production.



We thank the staff at the Iriomote Station of the Tropical Biosphere Research Center of the University of Ryukyus for facilitating the use of laboratory during the field work, Takao Ubukata (Kyoto University) and Takenori Sasaki (The University of Tokyo) for their help in collecting bivalve samples, Takako Goto (The University of Tokyo) for help in sample preparation, Noriko Izumoto (The University of Tokyo) for stable isotope analysis, and Yoshihide Ogasawara and Hiroshi Suzuki (both Waseda University) for help in Raman spectral analysis. We would like to appreciate the three anonymous reviewers and the handling editor (Antonio G. Checa) for their helpful comments and suggestions to improve this manuscript, and Uzuma Inamdar (Springer Nature) for his help to submit this manuscript. This work was supported by the JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI) (no. 23340157 in 2011–2013 and no. 18H01324 in 2018).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the sampling, care and use of animals were followed.

Supplementary material

227_2019_3637_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (635 kb)
Supplementary file1 (PDF 635 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazushige Tanabe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tsuzumi Miyaji
    • 2
  • Naoko Murakami-Sugihara
    • 3
  • Kotaro Shirai
    • 3
  • Kazuyoshi Moriya
    • 4
  1. 1.University Museum, The University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.National Ainu MuseumHokkaidoJapan
  3. 3.Atmosphere and Ocean Research InstituteThe University of TokyoChibaJapan
  4. 4.Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Education and Integrated Arts and SciencesWaseda UniversityTokyoJapan

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