Publications: Peer-reviewed journal articles (by staff)

Energetics of byssus attachment and feeding in the green-lipped mussel Perna canaliculus

1 January, 2013

Lurman GJ, Hilton Z, Ragg NLC 2013. Energetics of byssus attachment and feeding in the green-lipped mussel Perna canaliculus. Biological Bulletin 224(2): 79-88.


In most animals, significant increases in metabolic rate are due to activity and to feeding (known as apparent specific dynamic action). We determined the energetic costs of activity and feeding in adult green-lipped mussels (Perna canaliculus). Maximal metabolic rate was determined, using closed-chamber respirometry, during byssus re-attachment, during specific dynamic action after 16 h of feeding with Isochrysis galbana, and for the two activities combined, in 23 mussels. Metabolic rate was significantly elevated above rest by about 1.9-fold during byssus attachment (17.1 +/- 1.53 mu g O-2 h(-1) g(-1) whole mussel wet weight at rest, increased to 27.9 +/- 0.91 mu g O-2 h(-1) g(-1)), and by 2.2-fold after feeding (31.4 +/- 1.20 mu g O-2 h(-1) g(-1)). Combined feeding and byssus attachment led to a still higher metabolic rate (34.0 +/- 1.23 mu g O-2 h(-1) g(-1)). Behavior was also significantly altered, with mussels being almost continuously open during attachment and after feeding (90%-99% of the time); however, the time spent open during the day decreased, reaching a minimum of 52% +/- 9% 3 days after feeding, and remained low (67%-82%) for the following 45-day starvation period. Significant diurnal differences were observed, with mussels continuously (92%-100%) open at night. The key findings from this study are that green-lipped musssels (1) have an aerobic scope of approximately 2-fold; (2) reach a higher metabolic rate during feeding than during activity, and the two combined can raise the metabolic rate higher still; (3) display a marked diurnal behavior.