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Shape and surface variations of syphon openings during complete tidal cycles in Mya arenaria in the intertidal zone

Thorin, Sébastien and Robinet, Tony and Laffaille, Pascal and Vincent, Bruno Shape and surface variations of syphon openings during complete tidal cycles in Mya arenaria in the intertidal zone. (2001) Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK, 81 (3). 505-515. ISSN 0025-3154

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0025315401004155


Since the degree of syphonal opening can be an index of the pumping activity, the shape and the surface of syphon openings in Mya arenaria were filmed with an underwater camera at two stations in the middle of the intertidal zone. The individuals were perpendicularly oriented to the main current direction or parallel with the inhalant syphon upstream during flood tide, causing refiltration risks during ebb tide. The surface of the inhalant opening (SI) was strongly reduced with increasing current speeds. Its shape (XI) varied with the individual's orientation and had a tendency to become more circular with time. The surface of the exhalant opening (SE) decreased and its shape (XE) flattened with increasing current velocity and with time. However, variations of XI and XE were weak. Current direction had no significant effect on SI, SE, and XE, but did cause a strong decrease of the SE/SI ratio during ebb in individuals exposed to important refiltration risks during ebb tide. Significant negative correlations between stomach content in phaeopigments and SI and SE suggest that a syphonal constriction could contribute to more efficient feeding. For parallel oriented individuals, the decreases of SE, SE/SI, and XE during ebb can then be interpreted as an attempt to deviate or increase the excurrent velocity relative to the incurrent so as to limit refiltration. We suggest that decreases in opening surface and shape may serve, above all, to increase syphon current jet velocity in syphonate bivalves.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Cambridge University Press editor. The definitive version is available at http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=83033
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université de Rennes 1 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université du Québec à Rimouski - UQAR (CANADA)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:28 Sep 2012 10:38

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