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Shell Shape Analysis and Spatial Allometry Patterns of Manila Clam (Ruditapes philippinarum) in a Mesotidal Coastal Lagoon

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      Abstract

      While gradual allometric changes of shells are intrinsically driven by genotype, morphometrical shifts can also be modulated by local environmental conditions. Consequently the common use of a unique dimension (usually length) to assess bivalves’ growth may mask phenotypic differences in valve shape among populations. A morphometric exhaustive study was conducted on Manila clam, Ruditapes philippinarum, by acquiring data in the French Arcachon Bay (intrasite phenotypic variability) and by comparing with other sites in the literature (intersite phenotypic variability). 2070 shells were subsampled, weighted, and automatically measured using TNPC software. Some ratios’ values indicate a relatively round and globular shape shell in comparison with other sites confirming poor conditions for some individuals. Among adult clams, three main morphological groups were identified and discussed according to spatial considerations. Allometric relations for pairs of shell descriptors were determined by testing classical linear and piecewise regression models on log-transformed relation of Huxley. A significant shape change correlated to size was observed; it corresponds to the second year of life of the clam. Relationships between density, disease, and shell shape are demonstrated and discussed related to other potential factors affecting shell shape. Finally, consequences on population regulation are addressed.

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Journal of Marine Biology
            Journal of Marine Biology
            Hindawi Limited
            1687-9481
            1687-949X
            2012
            2012
            : 2012
            :
            : 1-11
            10.1155/2012/281206
            © 2012

            http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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