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Growth models and longevity of freshwater pearl mussels (Margaritifera margaritifera) in Spain

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Growth rates of populations of the freshwater pearl mussel, Margaritifera margaritifera (L., 1758), in northwestern Spain were analysed based on measurements of annual annuli and using two nonlinear functions for length-at-age data sets: von Bertalanffy's growth model and a hyperbolic function. These populations reach the smallest maximum shell length (90.5 mm) and have the shortest life-span (35 years) and the highest growth rate (k in von Bertalanffy's model >0.1·year–1, on average) known for this species. The two models were similar in performance and were well fitted (around 99%) to shell-length-at-age data, although the hyperbolic function appears to be applicable only from 6 years of age. The growth rate (either k or k' from the hyperbolic function) showed a large and significant variation across populations, both among and within drainages.

Nous avons analysé les taux de croissance de populations de la moule perlière d'eau douce, Margaritifera margaritifera (L., 1758), dans le nord-ouest de l'Espagne d'après les mesures des annulus annuels à l'aide de deux fonctions non linéaires pour les données de longueur en fonction de l'âge, soit le modèle de croissance de von Bertalanffy et une fonction hyperbolique. Ces populations atteignent la plus petite taille maximale (90,5 mm), la durée de vie la plus courte (35 ans) et le taux de croissance le plus élevé (k du modèle de von Bertalanffy en moyenne >0,1·an–1) connus chez cette espèce. Les deux modèles affichent des performances semblables et sont également bien ajustés (autour de 99 %) aux données de longueur de la coquille en fonction de l'âge, bien que la fonction hyperbolique semble pouvoir s'appliquer à partir de l'âge de 6 ans. Le taux de croissance (k ou k' de la fonction hyperbolique) montre des variations importantes et significatives d'une population à l'autre, tant dans un même bassin versant que d'un bassin versant à l'autre.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2004

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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