Temperature and relative humidity effects on water loss and emersion tolerance of Perna perna (L.) (Bivalvia: Mytilidae) from the Gulf of Mexico
Impacts of temperature (15°, 25°, and 35°C), relative humidity (RH: <5%, 33%, 53%, 75%, >95%), individual size (10–90 mm), and aerial gaping behavior on evaporative water loss rates and emersion tolerance were investigated in the nonindigenous brown mussel, Perna perna. Emersion tolerance was influenced by air temperature. Median survival times in 100% RH at 15°C were 2.5- and 10-fold greater than those at 25°C and 35°C, respectively. Emersion tolerance increased with increasing RH and was most pronounced at 15°C. Water loss rates were affected by temperature and RH. After emersion, most specimens gaped and lost their extracorporal mantle water. At all test temperatures, water loss rates were negatively correlated with RH. Reduction in water loss rate was associated with increased emersion tolerance. Frequency of gaping increased with increasing temperature and decreasing RH, leading to increased water loss rates. Emersion tolerance and behavioral responses in P. perna were similar to those of lower eulittoral and subtidal mytilids, reflecting this species' restriction to low-shore habitats.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2003-01-01
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