Competition between mussels at the rocky intertidal zone of La Lobería, Río Negro, Argentina

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Abstract

Competitive interactions between individuals from a single or different species can regulate population densities and individual growth. Two mussel species, Brachidontes rodriguezii and Perumytilus purpuratus coexist in the rocky intertidal zone of La Lobería, Río Negro Province, Argentina. The aim of this study was to analyse the effect of intra- and interspecific competition growth and mortality of both bivalve species. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the intra- and interspecific competition using asbestos cement plates of 10 x 10 cm varying mussel densities. The width of P. purpuratus showed a significant increase in presence of B. rodriguezii. There also was a non-significant trend toward decreasing B. rodriguezii size with increasing density of conspecifics and when coexisting with P. purpuratus. Mortality of B. rodriguezii and P. purpuratus did not differ significantly among treatments. Limited supply of P. purpuratus larvae or local tidal conditions that differentially affect each species could be leading to weak competition between both mussel species, thus allowing their coexistence.

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Arribas, L. P., Bagur, M., Soria, S. A., Gutiérrez, J. L., & Gabriela Palomo, M. (2016). Competition between mussels at the rocky intertidal zone of La Lobería, Río Negro, Argentina. Revista Del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, Nueva Serie, 18(1), 1–7. https://doi.org/10.22179/REVMACN.18.424

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