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Growth patterns in biomass and size structure of Mytilus galloprovincialis cultivated in the Ría de Arousa (north-west Spain)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 January 2003

José M.F. Babarro
Affiliation:
CSIC Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas, Eduardo Cabello 6, 36208 Vigo, Spain
Uxío Labarta
Affiliation:
CSIC Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas, Eduardo Cabello 6, 36208 Vigo, Spain
María José Fernández-Reiriz
Affiliation:
CSIC Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas, Eduardo Cabello 6, 36208 Vigo, Spain

Abstract

Growth of seed mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis (Bivalvia: Mytilidae) from two origins (rocky shore and collector ropes) placed on raft culture was compared. Mussel seed were cultivated following the commercial culture phases commonly used in Galician Rías: (a) from seeding to thinning-out and (b) from thinning-out to harvest. Differences in growth rate were clearly related to the phase of the culture, being significant during the first phase from seeding to thinning out (January–November 1998). In the latter phase, weight values observed for collector rope mussels were significantly higher than those for rocky shore individuals (0·65 vs 0·45 g total dry weight, 0·11 vs 0·08 g tissue dry weight, 0·53 vs 0·37 g shell dry weight and 0·09 vs 0·07 g tissue organic weight per month, respectively; P<0·001). Neither shell length nor weight (soft tissue or shell) growth rate showed differences during the second phase of the culture from thinning out to harvest (November 1998–July 1999; P>0·05). Nevertheless, in terms of output, the higher number of individuals above 70 mm (77% vs 61%) and the heavier soft tissue (and total) weight (23–30%) for collector ropes mussels when compared to rocky shore ones at harvest, highlighted the importance of choosing the former stock. Condition index (CI) did not differ at the onset of the culture between both origins (P>0·05), but mussels from collector ropes showed significantly higher values than those from the rocky shore from May to November 1998 (P<0·001) before thinning-out was undertaken. No differences in CI were observed from thinning out to harvest between both types of mussels (P>0·05). Although both populations showed normal (unimodal) size distributions at the onset of the culture, mussels from rocky shore origin fitted better to bimodal profiles throughout the first phase of the culture. These bimodal distributions of rocky shore population did disappear during the second phase suggesting a more uniform size spectrum as a consequence of the thinning out process, which involves a selection of size.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2003 Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

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Growth patterns in biomass and size structure of Mytilus galloprovincialis cultivated in the Ría de Arousa (north-west Spain)
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