Effects of substrate type on growth and mortality of blue mussels ( Mytilus edulis ) exposed to the predator Carcinus maenas

Rikke Frandsen, Per Dolmer

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Structure and complexity of the substrate are important habitat characteristics for benthic epifauna. The specific growth and mortality rates and inducible defence characters on medium- sized blue mussels (Mytilus edulis L.) exposed to shore crabs (Carcinus maenas L.) were examined on three different substrate types in combined field and laboratory experiments. The experiments showed that complexity of the substrate increased blue mussel survival significantly, through a decrease in predation pressure. However, increased intraspecific competition for food on the complex substrate resulted in significantly lower growth rates of the mussels. Inducible defence characters were also influenced by substrate type. Blue mussels were more affected by predators on the structurally simple substrate, where they developed thicker shells and a larger posterior adductor muscle.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Biology
Volume141
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)253-262
ISSN0025-3162
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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