The results of monitoring the movement of the valves of the Black Sea mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis Lam. in conditions of nutritional deficiency

 I.I. Kazankova, S.V. Kazantsev

Institute of Natural and Technical systems, Sevastopol, Russia


DOI: 10.33075/2220-5861-2022-4-31-39 

UDC 574.24                                              


   The peculiarities of movement of the valves of the Black Sea mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis in the early stages of starvation were studied under laboratory conditions by high-frequency noninvasive valvometry. Mussels belonging to three size groups (24–26, 35–41 and 49–56 mm) were kept in natural unfiltered water at favorable temperature and aeration in experimental vessels. Nutritional deficiency was ensured by changing natural water no more often than every two days. The analysis of the results was performed mostly for mussels 24–26 mm long. It was determined that under nutritional deficiency a gradual decrease in the average daily opening of mussel valves occurs mainly due to an increase in the total time of their stay in the closed state and a decrease in the time of mollusks at a level of valves opening was more than 50%. The average maximum opening of the valves during the experiment did not change significantly. The change in the diurnal rhythm of valves movement was largely related to the regime of water changes. The time of passing the peaks of valves activity and its change during the experiment may indicate the mollusks’ ability to “remember” and “forget” the moments of receiving food. It is shown that the basic patterns of changes in the movement of mussel valves under conditions of food deficiency and under chronic environmental pollution coincide, which should be taken into account when monitoring the environment. The possibility of similarity of the physiological processes underlying changes in mussel valves movement under both food deficiency and environmental pollution has been considered. Due to seasonal, inter-annual and inter-decadal as well as spatial variability of environmental parameters in the Black Sea, monitoring of signs of starvation of Black Sea mussel by high-frequency noninvasive valvometry is a possible and promising element of the integrated monitoring of coastal ecosystems.

Keywords: valvometry, opening of the valves, level of valve opening, diurnal rhythm, nutrient deficiency, control of aquatic environment, Black Sea.

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