Marine Biology

, Volume 150, Issue 3, pp 471–485 | Cite as

Biorheological properties of intertidal organic fluff on mud flats and its modification of gill ventilation in buried sole Solea solea

  • Ian R. JenkinsonEmail author
  • Guy Claireaux
  • Patrick Gentien
Research Article


Intertidal mudflats are important nursery grounds for juveniles of many fish species. However, they are being used increasingly to farm bivalve molluscs, which produce large amounts of organic “fluff”, overlying the mud. Fish such as sole, Solea solea, hide in this fluff from potential predators, but the energy consumed by respiring the fluff may be high due to its biorheological properties. We developed an ichthyoviscometer. It incorporates a freshly killed fish as a viscometer, and we developed it to measure the rheological properties of fluids and suspensions, including fluff, at scales encompassing those in gill ventilation. We have shown that the rheological behaviour of fluff is close to that of a gel with a yield stress strongly dependent on particulate organic matter concentration ([POM]). This has allowed us to model fluff flow through the gill channels in living sole as a function of fish size and [POM], showing that in a 26-g sole, fluff would halve flow at a [POM] value of 3.2 g l−1, and stop it at 3.4.


Sewage Sludge Spinosa Buccal Cavity Small Reservoir Ventilatory Cycle 
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.



We thank N. Blanc for experimental work, D. Leguay, G. Guillou, M. Bréret and Y. Descatoire for technical help, and S. Deschamps for data processing. We acknowledge financial support by the European Union, Directorate Fisheries, through contract QLRS-2002-00799, Project ETHOFISH. Fish manipulations and measurements were carried out in accordance with both French legal and ethical standards, and with Council of Europe Directive 86/609/EEC of 24 November 1986 on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States regarding the protection of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes, as amended by Protocol ETS No. 123 of 22 July 1998.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian R. Jenkinson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Guy Claireaux
    • 2
  • Patrick Gentien
    • 3
  1. 1.Agence de Conseil et de Recherche OcéanographiquesLa Roche CanillacFrance
  2. 2.CNRS, UMR 5171SèteFrance
  3. 3.IFREMER—Centre de BrestDYNECOPlouzanéFrance

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