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The filtration rate of Mytilus edulis and its dependence on algal concentration, measured by a continuous automatic recording apparatus

Abstract

A new apparatus for long-term, continuous automatic measurements of filtration rates in suspension-feeding organisms is described. As the concentration of algae in the experimental medium is diminished by the filter-feeding activity of the experimental animals, algal suspension is automatically added, thus keeping the algal concentration constant. In this way, accurate determinations of filtration rates in relation to particle concentration are made possible. For determination of filtration rates in the common mussel Mytilus edulis L., individuals of different body size (shell length 8.5 to 56.5 mm) were used. Within the range of 10x106 to 40x106 cells of Dunaliella marina/l, mussels of the same body size filter-out approximately the same amount of algae at high or low concentrations. A low algal concentration is counterbalanced by a corresponding higher filtration rate. Within the range of body size (W=dry weight of tissues) and algal concentrations used, the filtration rate (F) follows the general allometric equation F=a·W b, where a and b are constants at specific experimental conditions. At a temperature of 12 °C, the values obtained for a are 2410 at a concentration of 20x106, and 1313 at a concentration of 40x106 Dunaliella cells/l; correspondingly, the filtration rates of a mussel of 1 g dry-tissue weight are 2410 ml/h and 1313 ml/h. b, the slope of the regression line (0.73 to 0.74), is independent of algal concentration. However, examination of all known measurements reveals that, most probably, the general allometric equation is an oversimplification; in large individuals there is a more pronounced decrease in filtration rate. The relationship between filtration rate, body size of mussels, and algal concentrations used is discussed.

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Communicated by O. Kinne, Hamburg

This work was made possible through a research grant from the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft” in connection with the program “Litoralforschung — Abwässer in Küstennähe”.

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Winter, J.E. The filtration rate of Mytilus edulis and its dependence on algal concentration, measured by a continuous automatic recording apparatus. Mar. Biol. 22, 317–328 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00391388

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00391388

Keywords

  • Filtration Rate
  • Shell Length
  • Dunaliella
  • Experimental Medium
  • Algal Suspension