Colonization and Disappearance ofMytilus galloprovincialisLam. on an Artificial Habitat in the Mediterranean Sea

  • Ardizzone G
  • Belluscio A
  • Gravina M
 et al. 
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A Mytilus galloprovincialis population, settled on a new artificial habitat at 12 m depth in the Central Tyrrhenian Sea, was investigated for 10 years. The new substratum, located at a depth lower than the preferential range of the species, was colonized temporarily by mussels which reached very high densities and dominated the benthic community from their colonization until the third year. The length-frequency distribution analysis showed a progressively complex population structure with up to three cohorts. The yearly recruitments were observed once a year in spring. The growth curve provided a maximum length higher than that reported for shallow waters. Nevertheless, the gregarious habits of mussels and the reduced water movement caused edaphic modifications of the substratum, which was covered progressively by sediments and biodeposits (pseudofaeces). Consequently, the population structure was affected by a reduction of the newly recruited cohorts, and mussels disappeared after 5 years of colonization. This may be explained by the reduction in the substratum available for the first settlement (hydroid covering), as well as by the modification of the surface required for final settlement. (C) 1996 Academic Press Limited

Author-supplied keywords

  • a mytilus galloprovincialis population
  • artificial habitat 12
  • artificial substrata
  • benthic community
  • depth central
  • investigated 10
  • long term change
  • m
  • mediterranean sea
  • mytilus galloprovincialis
  • new
  • population dynamics
  • settled a new
  • tyrrhenian sea
  • years

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  • G D Ardizzone

  • A Belluscio

  • M F Gravina

  • A Somaschini

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