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High calcification costs limit mussel growth at low salinity

High calcification costs limit mussel growth at low salinity
High calcification costs limit mussel growth at low salinity
In coastal temperate regions such as the Baltic Sea, calcifying bivalves dominate benthic communities playing a vital ecological role in maintaining biodiversity and nutrient recycling. At low salinities, bivalves exhibit reduced growth and calcification rates which is thought to result from physiological constraints associated with osmotic stress. Calcification demands a considerable amount of energy in calcifying molluscs and estuarine habitats provide sub-optimal conditions for calcification due to low concentrations of calcification substrates and large variations in carbonate chemistry. Therefore, we hypothesize that slow growth rates in estuarine bivalves result from increased costs of calcification, rather than costs associated with osmotic stress. To investigate this, we estimated the cost of calcification for the first time in benthic bivalve life stages and the relative energy allocation to calcification in three Mytilus populations along the Baltic salinity gradient. Our results indicate that calcification rates are significantly reduced only in 6 psu populations compared to 11 and 16 psu populations, coinciding with ca. 2–3-fold higher calcification costs at low salinity and temperature. This suggests that reduced growth of Baltic Mytilus at low salinities results from increased calcification costs rather than osmotic stress related costs. We also reveal that shell growth (both calcification and shell organic production) demands 31–60% of available assimilated energy from food, which is significantly higher than previous estimates. Energetically expensive calcification represents a major constraint on growth of mytilids in the estuarine and coastal seas where warming, acidification and desalination are predicted over the next century.
2296-7745
Sanders, Trystan
4f3b5742-82bb-48d6-bcaa-0489c0880628
Schmittmann, Lara
1ce2c127-ee67-45e0-8317-1531b3e7468d
Nascimento-Schulze, Jennifer C.
1387e10b-0d4c-4c1f-b9f8-b5e3fffeaaec
Melzner, Frank
c95fbb6b-6721-4f38-a22e-2408e9400868
Sanders, Trystan
4f3b5742-82bb-48d6-bcaa-0489c0880628
Schmittmann, Lara
1ce2c127-ee67-45e0-8317-1531b3e7468d
Nascimento-Schulze, Jennifer C.
1387e10b-0d4c-4c1f-b9f8-b5e3fffeaaec
Melzner, Frank
c95fbb6b-6721-4f38-a22e-2408e9400868

Sanders, Trystan, Schmittmann, Lara, Nascimento-Schulze, Jennifer C. and Melzner, Frank (2018) High calcification costs limit mussel growth at low salinity. Frontiers in Marine Science. (doi:10.3389/fmars.2018.00352).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In coastal temperate regions such as the Baltic Sea, calcifying bivalves dominate benthic communities playing a vital ecological role in maintaining biodiversity and nutrient recycling. At low salinities, bivalves exhibit reduced growth and calcification rates which is thought to result from physiological constraints associated with osmotic stress. Calcification demands a considerable amount of energy in calcifying molluscs and estuarine habitats provide sub-optimal conditions for calcification due to low concentrations of calcification substrates and large variations in carbonate chemistry. Therefore, we hypothesize that slow growth rates in estuarine bivalves result from increased costs of calcification, rather than costs associated with osmotic stress. To investigate this, we estimated the cost of calcification for the first time in benthic bivalve life stages and the relative energy allocation to calcification in three Mytilus populations along the Baltic salinity gradient. Our results indicate that calcification rates are significantly reduced only in 6 psu populations compared to 11 and 16 psu populations, coinciding with ca. 2–3-fold higher calcification costs at low salinity and temperature. This suggests that reduced growth of Baltic Mytilus at low salinities results from increased calcification costs rather than osmotic stress related costs. We also reveal that shell growth (both calcification and shell organic production) demands 31–60% of available assimilated energy from food, which is significantly higher than previous estimates. Energetically expensive calcification represents a major constraint on growth of mytilids in the estuarine and coastal seas where warming, acidification and desalination are predicted over the next century.

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Published date: 2 October 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 448139
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/448139
ISSN: 2296-7745
PURE UUID: d1a96f01-f2f5-4c35-9a0f-6a4a6f9c912a
ORCID for Trystan Sanders: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7605-0747

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Date deposited: 12 Apr 2021 16:47
Last modified: 29 Oct 2023 13:23

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Contributors

Author: Trystan Sanders ORCID iD
Author: Lara Schmittmann
Author: Jennifer C. Nascimento-Schulze
Author: Frank Melzner

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