Effect of salinity on filtration rates of mussels Mytilus edulis with special emphasis on dwarfed mussels from the low-saline Central Baltic Sea

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  • H. U. Riisgard
  • F. Lüskow
  • D. Pleissner
  • K. Lundgreen
  • M. A. P. Lopez

The effect of salinity on the filtration rate of blue mussels, Mytilus edulis, from the brackish Great Belt (Denmark) and the low-saline Central Baltic Sea, respectively, was studied. First, we measured the effect of long-term (weeks) constant ambient salinities between 5 and 30 psu on the filtration rate of M. edulis collected in the Great Belt where the mean salinity is 17 psu. At salinities between 10 and 30 psu, the filtration rates did not vary much, but at 5 psu the filtration rates were significantly lower. Next, we studied dwarfed M. edulis (<25 mm shell length) from Central Baltic Sea (Askö, Sweden) where the mean salinity is 6.5 psu. The maximum filtration rate (F, ml min -1 ind. -1) as a function of shell length (L, mm) and dry weight of soft parts (W, mg) were found to be: F = 0.003L 2.71 and F = 0.478W 0.92, respectively, and these results indicate that the filtration rates of dwarfed Baltic Sea mussels are comparable to filtration rates of Great Belt mussels of similar size exposed to salinities >10 psu. When Baltic Sea mussels acclimatized to 20 psu in the laboratory were exposed to 6.5 psu this caused a drastic reduction in the filtration rate, but after about 2 days the previous high filtration rate was regained at 6.5 psu, and further, a similar pattern was observed when the 6.5 psu exposed mussels were finally re-exposed to 20 psu. The observed lack of Great Belt mussels to completely adjust to 5 psu, in contrast to the ease of Baltic Sea mussels to adjust back and forth between 6.5 and 20 psu, is remarkable and may perhaps be explained by different genotypes of Great Belt and Baltic Sea mussels.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHelgoland Marine Research
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)591-598
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 09.2013
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Salinity change, Long-term acclimation, Acute effects, Adjustment of filtration rate
  • Biology