Features of distribution and size composition of post-larvae of mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis on control substrates in coastal waters of the southern and south-western Crimea

I.I. Kazankova

 Institute of Natural and Technical Systems, RF, Sevastopol, Lenin St., 28

E-mail: ikazani@bk.ru

DOI: 10.33075/2220-5861-2022-3-27-36

UDC 574.24:504.064.36                                                                                                                                                         


   Control over the potential recruitment of the mussel population Mytilus galloprovincialis is an important element in the monitoring of the ecosystem of the Black Sea, evolving under the conditions of anthropogenic impact and climate change. Currently, off the coast of Crimea, control substrates with hairy surfaces formed by acrylic threads placed on cylindrical plastic frames are used for measuring potential mussel recruitment. However, the possibility of migration of post-larvae from the surface of the control substrates and vice versa is not taken into account. In addition, the contribution of secondary settling post-larvae brought by water flow from other biotopes is not considered. In this connection, the distribution of mussel post-larvae over the surface of control substrates and their size composition in exposures, carried out near the southern and southwestern shores of Crimea in a water layer of 3-15 m in 2008-2021 was studied. An edge effect in the distribution of mussel post-larvae over the surface of substrates was revealed, namely, the density of “planting” of mussels on the lower and upper parts of substrates represented by 4-8 edge threads exceeded that in the rest (middle) part of the substrate on average 2 and 3 times, respectively. This may indicate vertical migration of post-larvae or unequal survival depending on their location on the surface of the substrate, so it was proposed to reduce the exposure time of control substrates to 20 days to decrease these factors. Based on the obtained size compositions of mussels, it was determined that the mass appearance of post-larvae of secondary settling (i.e., individuals longer than 2.0 mm) on control substrates was not typical for the studied areas.

Keywords: mussel, larvae, post-larvae, recruitment rate, vertical migration, edge effect, secondary settling.

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