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Common Mussel

Mytilus edulis Linnaeus 1758

Behavior

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Blue mussels have statocysts to aid in geo-positioning and orientation. Blue mussels have chemoreceptors capable of detecting the release of gametes. These chemoreceptors also help juvenile blue mussels avoid settling temporarily on substrata near mature blue mussle, presumably to decrease competition for food.

Communication Channels: chemical

Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

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Zagata, C.; C. Young; J. Sountis and M. Kuehl 2008. "Mytilus edulis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Mytilus_edulis.html
author
Craig Zagata, Rutgers University
author
Christy Young, Rutgers University
author
Joanne Sountis, Rutgers University
author
Melanie Kuehl, Rutgers University
editor
David Howe, Rutgers University
editor
Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
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Conservation Status

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Mytilus edulis is fairly common and is abundant in many coastal areas and has therefore not been placed on any conservation list or given any special status.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

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Zagata, C.; C. Young; J. Sountis and M. Kuehl 2008. "Mytilus edulis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Mytilus_edulis.html
author
Craig Zagata, Rutgers University
author
Christy Young, Rutgers University
author
Joanne Sountis, Rutgers University
author
Melanie Kuehl, Rutgers University
editor
David Howe, Rutgers University
editor
Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
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Life Cycle

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After the egg is fertilized it turns into a ciliated trocophore larva. The trochophore larva then becomes a veliger, which persists 1 to 1.5 months. In this phase, the larva bears ciliated fan-like protrusions and filter feeds before becoming a juvenile and finding a primary settlement location. The primary settlement location is often located in openings in the substrata, or amongst bryozoans or other filamentous structures and often situated away from mature mussels, presumably to decrease competition. After weeks there, the juvenile has doubled in size and detaches to drift again and find a permanent substrate to which to attach. The young adult will attach to the sea floor with a byssus thread or, if such open substrate is not stable, may attach to another mussel, creating a mussel bed.

Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis ; colonial growth ; indeterminate growth

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Zagata, C.; C. Young; J. Sountis and M. Kuehl 2008. "Mytilus edulis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Mytilus_edulis.html
author
Craig Zagata, Rutgers University
author
Christy Young, Rutgers University
author
Joanne Sountis, Rutgers University
author
Melanie Kuehl, Rutgers University
editor
David Howe, Rutgers University
editor
Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
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Benefits

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There are no known adverse effects of Mytilus edulis on humans.

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Zagata, C.; C. Young; J. Sountis and M. Kuehl 2008. "Mytilus edulis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Mytilus_edulis.html
author
Craig Zagata, Rutgers University
author
Christy Young, Rutgers University
author
Joanne Sountis, Rutgers University
author
Melanie Kuehl, Rutgers University
editor
David Howe, Rutgers University
editor
Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
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Benefits

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People harvest blue mussels as food and they are used in commercial aquaculture. Blue mussels are considered an important food source in some coastal areas and the shells are used in jewelry manufacturing. Blue mussels also help limit algae growth, which has become problematic in the Mediterranean Sea and elsewhere.

Positive Impacts: food ; research and education

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bibliographic citation
Zagata, C.; C. Young; J. Sountis and M. Kuehl 2008. "Mytilus edulis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Mytilus_edulis.html
author
Craig Zagata, Rutgers University
author
Christy Young, Rutgers University
author
Joanne Sountis, Rutgers University
author
Melanie Kuehl, Rutgers University
editor
David Howe, Rutgers University
editor
Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
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Associations

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Mytilus edulis has a high tolerance for increased sediment levels and help to remove sediments from the water column. Large blue mussel beds provide habitat and prey for other animals and act as a substrate for algal attachment, increasing local diversity. Blue mussel larvae are an important food source for plantivorous animals as well.

Commensal/Parasitic Species:

  • Pseudomyicola spinosus
  • Pinnotheres pisum
  • Marteilia maurini
  • Steinhausia mytilovum
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bibliographic citation
Zagata, C.; C. Young; J. Sountis and M. Kuehl 2008. "Mytilus edulis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Mytilus_edulis.html
author
Craig Zagata, Rutgers University
author
Christy Young, Rutgers University
author
Joanne Sountis, Rutgers University
author
Melanie Kuehl, Rutgers University
editor
David Howe, Rutgers University
editor
Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
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Trophic Strategy

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The diet of Mytilus edulis consists of phytoplankton, dinoflagellates, small diatoms, zoospores, flagellates, other protozoans, various unicellular algae, and detritus filtered from the surrounding water. Blue mussels are suspension filter feeders and are considered scavengers, collecting anything in the water column that is small enough to ingest.

Animal Foods: eggs; zooplankton

Plant Foods: algae; phytoplankton

Other Foods: detritus ; microbes

Foraging Behavior: filter-feeding

Primary Diet: planktivore ; detritivore

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bibliographic citation
Zagata, C.; C. Young; J. Sountis and M. Kuehl 2008. "Mytilus edulis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Mytilus_edulis.html
author
Craig Zagata, Rutgers University
author
Christy Young, Rutgers University
author
Joanne Sountis, Rutgers University
author
Melanie Kuehl, Rutgers University
editor
David Howe, Rutgers University
editor
Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
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Distribution

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Mytilus edulis is found in coastal areas of the northern Atlantic Ocean, including North America, Europe, and the northern Palearctic. They are found from the White Sea in Russia to southern France, throughout the British Isles, with large commercial beds in the Wash, Morecambe Bay, Conway Bay and southwest England, north Wales, and west Scotland. In the west Atlantic, M. edulis occupies the southern Canadian Maritime provinces to North Carolina.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native ); atlantic ocean (Native ); pacific ocean (Introduced )

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bibliographic citation
Zagata, C.; C. Young; J. Sountis and M. Kuehl 2008. "Mytilus edulis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Mytilus_edulis.html
author
Craig Zagata, Rutgers University
author
Christy Young, Rutgers University
author
Joanne Sountis, Rutgers University
author
Melanie Kuehl, Rutgers University
editor
David Howe, Rutgers University
editor
Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
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Habitat

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Mytilus edulis is eurythermal and are able to withstand freezing conditions for several months. Blue mussels are well acclimated to a 5 to 20 °C temperature range, with an upper sustained thermal tolerance limit of about 29 °C for adults. Blue mussels do not thrive in salinities of less than 15%, but can withstand wide environmental fluctuations. Their depth ranges from 5 to 10 meters. Usually, M. edulis is found in subtidal and intertidal beds on rocky shores, and remain permanently attached there. The range of Mytilus edulis is limited by the movement of drifting larval and juvenile stages.

Range depth: 1 to 10 m.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; polar ; saltwater or marine

Aquatic Biomes: coastal ; brackish water

Other Habitat Features: estuarine ; intertidal or littoral

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bibliographic citation
Zagata, C.; C. Young; J. Sountis and M. Kuehl 2008. "Mytilus edulis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Mytilus_edulis.html
author
Craig Zagata, Rutgers University
author
Christy Young, Rutgers University
author
Joanne Sountis, Rutgers University
author
Melanie Kuehl, Rutgers University
editor
David Howe, Rutgers University
editor
Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
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Life Expectancy

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The lifespan of Mytilus edulis may vary considerably depending on attachment location. Settline in more exposed coastal areas make individuals significantly more vulnerable to predation, in large part avian. Quality and stability of the substrate also plays a role in the lifespan. Mussels that settle in exposed locations can experience mortality up to 98% per year. Drifting larval and juvenile stages suffer the highest mortality rates.

Range lifespan
Status: wild:
18 to 24 years.

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bibliographic citation
Zagata, C.; C. Young; J. Sountis and M. Kuehl 2008. "Mytilus edulis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Mytilus_edulis.html
author
Craig Zagata, Rutgers University
author
Christy Young, Rutgers University
author
Joanne Sountis, Rutgers University
author
Melanie Kuehl, Rutgers University
editor
David Howe, Rutgers University
editor
Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
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Morphology

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Mytilus edulis is characterized by a smooth inequilateral shell, usually purple, blue, or dark brown, which features concentric growth lines emanating from the hinge. The interior of the shell is pearl-white. Internally the mantle has a whitish/yellow color, with a posterior adductor scar significantly larger than its anterior adductor scar. Extending from the closed shell are fibrous brown byssal threads for attachment to a surface.

Range mass: 1.4 to 6.5 g.

Range length: 2 to 20 cm.

Average length: 5-10 cm.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: female larger

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bibliographic citation
Zagata, C.; C. Young; J. Sountis and M. Kuehl 2008. "Mytilus edulis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Mytilus_edulis.html
author
Craig Zagata, Rutgers University
author
Christy Young, Rutgers University
author
Joanne Sountis, Rutgers University
author
Melanie Kuehl, Rutgers University
editor
David Howe, Rutgers University
editor
Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
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Associations

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Blue mussels are most often found in large mussel beds, where they are somewhat protected from predation by virtue of their numbers. The shell of Mytilus edulis acts as a protective layer, though some predator species are able to crush the shell.

Some predators of M. edulis wait until the mussel is forced to open its valves to breathe. The predator then pushes the mussel's siphon into the gap, wedging the mussel open so it can be eaten.

Known Predators:

  • flounders (Pleuronectiformes)
  • sandpipers (Scolopacidae)
  • gulls (Larus)
  • crows (Corvus)
  • dogwhelks (Nucella lapillus)
  • common starfish (Asterias rubens)
  • Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis
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The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Zagata, C.; C. Young; J. Sountis and M. Kuehl 2008. "Mytilus edulis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Mytilus_edulis.html
author
Craig Zagata, Rutgers University
author
Christy Young, Rutgers University
author
Joanne Sountis, Rutgers University
author
Melanie Kuehl, Rutgers University
editor
David Howe, Rutgers University
editor
Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
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Reproduction

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Mytilus edulis sexes are separate and gametes are shed into the water where fertilization occurs.

Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)

Mytilus edulis spawns from April to September, depending on water temperature, currents, and other environmental factors. In most populations, resting gonads begin to develop from October to November, with gametogenesis occurring throughout winter so that gonads are mature in early spring. A partial spawning in spring is followed by rapid gametogenesis, with gonads maturing by early summer, resulting in a less intensive secondary spawning in late August or September. Larvae spawned in spring can take advantage of phytoplankton blooms. Occurrence of the secondary spawning is opportunistic, depending on favorable environmental conditions and food availability. Gametogenesis, spawning, and reproductive strategies vary with geographic location. An individual female can produce 5 to 8 million eggs, larger individuals may produce as many as 40 million eggs. In optimal conditions, larval development may be complete in less than 20 days but larval growth and metamorphosis between spring and early summer, at 10 °C, usually takes 1 month. Pediveligers can delay metamorphosis for up to 40 days at 10 °C or for up to 6 months in some cases.

Breeding interval: Reproductive output is influenced by temperature, food availability, and tidal exposure and can therefore vary from year to year and from place to place.

Breeding season: Blue mussels generally breed during the spring to late summer.

Range number of offspring: 5000000 to 40000000.

Average number of offspring: 7000000.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 1 to 2 years.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 1 to 2 years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); fertilization (External ); broadcast (group) spawning

There is no parental care after fertilization.

Parental Investment: no parental involvement; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female)

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The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Zagata, C.; C. Young; J. Sountis and M. Kuehl 2008. "Mytilus edulis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Mytilus_edulis.html
author
Craig Zagata, Rutgers University
author
Christy Young, Rutgers University
author
Joanne Sountis, Rutgers University
author
Melanie Kuehl, Rutgers University
editor
David Howe, Rutgers University
editor
Tanya Dewey, Animal Diversity Web
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Biology

provided by Arkive
The mussel is a filter-feeder; it filters bacteria, plankton, and detritus from the water (3). When large beds of this gregarious species form, individuals are bonded together with threads of byssus. Predation is the greatest cause of mortality; a range of predators take mussels, including dog-whelks (Nucella lapillus), crabs, sea urchins, star-fish, and birds such as the oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) (3). Although mussels seem fairly defenceless, remarkably they are able to fend off marauding dog whelks and other predatory gastropods; a number of mussels work together to immobilise the predator with bysuss threads (3). Organisms that attach to mussels, such as seaweeds and barnacles, may increase the risk of the mussel becoming detached by wave action; however, mussels are able to sweep their foot over their shell, which may help to minimise the likelihood of such an organism becoming attached (3). The sexes are separate, fertilisation occurs externally and spawning peaks in spring and summer (2). The larval stage is free-swimming and planktonic for around 4 weeks (2), before settling first on filamentous organisms such as seaweeds (3). After growing for a while, they detach and drift in the water on a long byssal thread; a mode of dispersal likened to that of young spiders floating through the air on a silk thread (2). After four weeks or so, the young mussel will have settled again, this time on a mussel bed (2). Young mussels are thought to have evolved primary settlement on filamentous substrates in order to avoid having to compete with adult mussels (3). Mussels are host to the pea crab (Pinnotheres pisum), and a copepod (Mytilicola intestinalis), both of which are not parasites, as was once thought, but commensal organisms (they benefit from living with the mussel, but the mussel is not affected) (2). Furthermore, mussel beds provide habitats for a variety of marine life, and support higher levels of biodiversity than surrounding mudflats (3). The biodiversity of the bed increases with its size and age (3).
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Conservation

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Conservation action has not been targeted at this common species.
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Description

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The common mussel has a roughly triangular shell, which is bluish, purplish or brown in colour and covered with a black outer layer (3). The inside of the shell is pearly, with a blue outer edge (2).
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Habitat

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The common mussel can be found from the middle shore to the shallow sublittoral zone, and attaches to substrates such as piers, rocks and stones with protein threads known as 'byssus' (2). It may also occur on soft sediments in estuaries, and large beds often form; mussels are farmed commercially in many areas (2).
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Range

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Extremely common around the coasts of Britain; very large commercial mussel beds occur in the Wash, Conway bay, Morecambe Bay, and estuaries of southwest England, west Scotland and west Wales (3). Elsewhere, it is found from the White Sea in northern Russia to southern France, and in the West Atlantic from Canada to North Carolina (3). It also occurs off Chile, the Falkland Isles, Argentina and the Kerguelen Isles (3).
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Status

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Common and widespread; not listed under any conservation designations (2).
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Threats

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This species is currently widespread and not threatened.
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Brief Summary

provided by Ecomare
Mussels are found in large quantities along the Dutch coastline. People collect the mussels from natural beds or farm them for consumption on mussel lots in the Wadden Sea and delta region. In addition to people, shorebirds such as herring gulls and eider ducks also like to eat mussels. Mussels attach themselves to stones or shells with the help of strong threads, known as the mussel's 'beard'. For man and animal alike, it can be quite a job loosening a mussel from a stone. The threads keep the mussel in place so that it isn't affected by movement in the water.
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Breeding Season

provided by Egg Characteristics and Breeding Season for Woods Hole Species
Woods Hole, Maine
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Donald P. Costello and Catherine Henley
bibliographic citation
Costello, D.P. and C. Henley (1971). Methods for obtaining and handling marine eggs and embryos. Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (Second Edition)
author
Costello, D.P.
author
C. Henley

Care of Adults

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Woods Hole, Maine
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Donald P. Costello and Catherine Henley
bibliographic citation
Costello, D.P. and C. Henley (1971). Methods for obtaining and handling marine eggs and embryos. Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (Second Edition)
author
Costello, D.P.
author
C. Henley

Fertilization and Cleavage

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Woods Hole, Maine
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Donald P. Costello and Catherine Henley
bibliographic citation
Costello, D.P. and C. Henley (1971). Methods for obtaining and handling marine eggs and embryos. Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (Second Edition)
author
Costello, D.P.
author
C. Henley

Later Stages of Development and Metamorphosis

provided by Egg Characteristics and Breeding Season for Woods Hole Species
Woods Hole, Maine

References

  • Berg, W. E., . Lytic effects of sperm extracts on the eggs of Mytilus edulis. Biol. Bull., : -.
  • Berg, W. E., and P. B. Kutsky, . Physiological studies of differentiation in Mytilus edulis. I. The oxygen uptake of isolated blastomeres and polar lobes. Biol. Bull., : -.
  • Field, I. A., . Biology and economic value of the sea mussel Mytilus edulis. Bull. U. S. Burl Fish., : -.
  • Matthews, A., . Notes on the development of Mytilus edulis and Alcyonium digitatum in the Plymouth laboratory. J. Mar. Biol. Assoc., : -.
  • Meves, F., . Über den Befruchtungsvorgang bei der Miesmuschel (Mytilus edulis L.). Arch. f. miter. Anat., : A, , pp. -.
  • Rattenbury, J. C., and W. E. Berg, . Embryonic segregation during early development of Mytilus edulis. J. Morph., : -.
  • White, K. M., . Mytilus. Liverpool Mar. Biol. Comm. Mem., vol. , pp. -.

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Donald P. Costello and Catherine Henley
bibliographic citation
Costello, D.P. and C. Henley (1971). Methods for obtaining and handling marine eggs and embryos. Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (Second Edition)
author
Costello, D.P.
author
C. Henley

Later Stages of Development and Metamorphosis

provided by Egg Characteristics and Breeding Season for Woods Hole Species
Woods Hole, Maine
license
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copyright
Donald P. Costello and Catherine Henley
bibliographic citation
Costello, D.P. and C. Henley (1971). Methods for obtaining and handling marine eggs and embryos. Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (Second Edition)
author
Costello, D.P.
author
C. Henley

Living Material

provided by Egg Characteristics and Breeding Season for Woods Hole Species
Woods Hole, Maine
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Donald P. Costello and Catherine Henley
bibliographic citation
Costello, D.P. and C. Henley (1971). Methods for obtaining and handling marine eggs and embryos. Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (Second Edition)
author
Costello, D.P.
author
C. Henley

Preparation of Cultures

provided by Egg Characteristics and Breeding Season for Woods Hole Species
Woods Hole, Maine
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Donald P. Costello and Catherine Henley
bibliographic citation
Costello, D.P. and C. Henley (1971). Methods for obtaining and handling marine eggs and embryos. Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (Second Edition)
author
Costello, D.P.
author
C. Henley

Procuring Gametes

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Woods Hole, Maine
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Donald P. Costello and Catherine Henley
bibliographic citation
Costello, D.P. and C. Henley (1971). Methods for obtaining and handling marine eggs and embryos. Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (Second Edition)
author
Costello, D.P.
author
C. Henley

Special Comments

provided by Egg Characteristics and Breeding Season for Woods Hole Species
Woods Hole, Maine
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Donald P. Costello and Catherine Henley
bibliographic citation
Costello, D.P. and C. Henley (1971). Methods for obtaining and handling marine eggs and embryos. Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (Second Edition)
author
Costello, D.P.
author
C. Henley

The Unfertilized Ovum

provided by Egg Characteristics and Breeding Season for Woods Hole Species
Woods Hole, Maine
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Donald P. Costello and Catherine Henley
bibliographic citation
Costello, D.P. and C. Henley (1971). Methods for obtaining and handling marine eggs and embryos. Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (Second Edition)
author
Costello, D.P.
author
C. Henley

Diagnostic Description

provided by FAO species catalogs
Shell solid, equivalve; inequilateral, beaks at the anterior end; approximately triangular in outline. Hinge line without teeth but with 3 to 12 small crenulations, under the umbones. Margin smooth. Pallial line wide; anterior adductor scar very small, posterior large. External ligament much concealed, extending more than half-way from the beaks to the highest point of the shell. Sculpture of fine concentric lines.

Colour purple, blue, sometimes brown, occasionally with prominent dark brown to purple radial markings. Periostracum almost black, dark brown, or olive; interior pearl-white with a wide border of purple or dark blue.

Distribution

provided by FAO species catalogs
It is widely distributed in the boreal regions of the northern hemisphere, from the western border of the Kara Sea, south to the Mediterranean, North Carolina, California and Japan; it is absent from the high Arctic.

Size

provided by FAO species catalogs
Attains about 6 cm. One shell of 22,8 cm has. Common between 3 and 5 cm in length.

Brief Summary

provided by FAO species catalogs
The exact range of M. edulis is not known because of the confusion with other, very similar Mytilus. In Europe it lives on all coasts that have hard substrates.Intertidal to 40 m deepattached by byssus threads to rocks and piers, within sheltered harbours and estuaries and on rocky shores of the open coast, sometimes living in dense masses wherever there are suitable surfaces for attachment.The diet of mussels consists of phytoplankton and detritus filtered from the surrounding water.The dimensions of the species is greatly influenced by its biotope: intertidal shells often remain small, rarely exceding 6 cm, while deep-water shells easily measure 9 cm.

Benefits

provided by FAO species catalogs
Natural and cultivated. The exploitation of these beds which was manual until recently developed in a giant industry in the fifties. The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 121 964 t. The countries with the largest catches were Denmark (96 215 t) and Canada (11 565 t). Marketed fresh, frozen and canned.

Description

provided by NMNH Antarctic Invertebrates

Mytilus edulis, Linné, 1758. Plate 56, fig. 4.

Shell attaining sometimes a large size, oblong-oval or triangular, dilated behind, the beaks anterior and terminal, smooth. Beaks slightly uncinate, close together. Anterior end narrowed, pointed, and usually somewhat inflate, the dorsal margin ascending on the anterior half, the posterior part broadly rounded or almost straight. Posterior end regularly convex, the basal margin straight or more or less concave. Sculpture consisting of fine concentric growth-lines and very fine radiate striæ; under the beaks a small triangular area with prominent ribs corresponding with the hinge-teeth. Epidermis thin, dark olive-brown. Colour deep blackish-blue, sometimes whitish-yellow with brown at the anterior basal part. Interior bluish-white, black outside the pallial line, polished. Margins smooth and sharp. Hinge-plate narrow, oval with 3 or 4 teeth in each valve, which may be reduced to 2 or 1. Ligament external, long and strong, deep-seated. Adductor-scars 2, the anterior very small, behind the umbo; the posterior large, roundish, situate at the upper part of posterior end, and confluent with the long and narrow byssus retractor scar; the anterior retractor scar of the foot is small, oblong, on the dorsal side behind the beak. Pallial line simple. Byssus consisting of a round stalk, from which on all sides the threads of attachment are given off.

Diameter. – Ant.-post., 50 mm. to 120 mm.; dorso-ventral, 25 mm. to 67 mm.: thickness 17 mm. to 40 mm.

Anatomy. – Alex. Purdie, “Studies in Biology for New Zealand Students,” No. 3, 1887.

Hab. – Throughout New Zealand, but more common in the south. Auckland and Campbell Islands.

The species is abundant around the coasts of the North Atlantic, and in the Mediterranean; Strait of Magellan to St. Catharina, Brazil, and extending on the west coast of America to California; Falkland Islands; Kerguelen Island. It is not recorded from Tasmania and Australia.

Remarks. – Specimens from our subantarctic islands are of a very large size. The animal is used as food and for bait. These mussels, like those of other species, contain sometimes pearls of an inferior quality.

Fossil in the Pliocene and Pleistocene of Europe and northern parts of America, and in the Miocene and Pliocene of New Zealand.”

(Suter, 1913)

Blue mussel

provided by wikipedia EN

The blue mussel (Mytilus edulis), also known as the common mussel,[1] is a medium-sized edible marine bivalve mollusc in the family Mytilidae, the mussels. Blue mussels are subject to commercial use and intensive aquaculture. A species with a large range, empty shells are commonly found on beaches around the world.

Systematics and distribution

The Mytilus edulis complex

Systematically blue mussel consists of a group of (at least) three closely related taxa of mussels, known as the Mytilus edulis complex. Collectively they occupy both coasts of the North Atlantic (including the Mediterranean) and of the North Pacific in temperate to polar waters,[2] as well as coasts of similar nature in the Southern Hemisphere. The distribution of the component taxa has been recently modified as a result of human activity. The taxa can hybridise with each other, if present at the same locality.

  • Mytilus edulis sensu stricto: Native to the North Atlantic.
  • Mytilus galloprovincialis, the Mediterranean mussel: Native in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and Western Europe. Introduced in the temperate North Pacific, South Africa and elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Mytilus planulatus, the New Zealand blue mussel, a distinct lineage native to the Southern Hemisphere along the southern coast of Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand
  • Mytilus platensis (junior synonym M. chilensis), the Chilean mussel: Temperate and sub-Antarctic waters of South America and the Kerguelen Islands.[3]
  • Mytilus trossulus: North Pacific, northern parts of the North Atlantic, Baltic Sea.

Mytilus edulis, strict sense

The Atlantic blue mussel is native on the North American Atlantic coast, but is found intermixed with M. trossulus north of Maine. In Atlantic Canada, M. trossulus was found to have smaller shell growth values than M. edulis and contain less meat than M. edulis.[4] Keeping this in mind, M. edulis, under raft culture conditions, is estimated to have an economic value of 1.7 times M. trossulus.[4] In Europe it is found from French Atlantic coast northwards to Novaya Zemlya and Iceland, but not in the Baltic Sea. In France and in the British Isles, it makes hybrid zones with M. galloprovincialis, and also is sometimes intermixed with M. trossulus.

The genetically distinct lineage of M. edulis present in the Southern Hemisphere has been attributed to subspecies Mytilus edulis platensis (now Mytilus platensis).[3]

Habitat

 src=
Orientation terminology[5]
(a) The outside of the right shell
(b) The inside of the left shell
(c) Without shells, right lateral overview generated from a micro-CT scan
D, Dorsal; V, Ventral; A, Anterior; P, Posterior
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General anatomy of the tissues[5]
(a) Ventral view after cutting the adductor muscles and forcing the valves to open, hereby rupturing the connecting mantle parts
(b) Oblique dorsal view on a sedated specimen
L, Left; R, Right; P, Posterior; A, Anterior
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Internal anatomy[5]
Longitudinal micro-CT section in 3D at the level of the heart of a critical point dried blue mussel after Bouin fixation.
GI, Gastro-intestinal; D,Dorsal; V, Ventral; P, Posterior; A, Anterior

Blue mussels are boreo-temperate invertebrates that live in intertidal areas attached to rocks and other hard substrates by strong (and somewhat elastic) thread-like structures called byssal threads, secreted by byssal glands located in the foot of the mussel.

Description

The shape of the shell is triangular and elongated with rounded edges. The shell is smooth with a sculpturing of fine concentric growth lines but no radiating ribs. The shells of this species are purple, blue or sometimes brown in color, occasionally with radial stripes. The outer surface of the shell is covered by the periostracum which as eroded, exposes the colored prismatic calcitic layer. Blue Mussels are semi-sessile, having the ability to detach and reattach to a surface allowing the mollusk to reposition itself relative to the water position.

Reproduction

Mussels have separate sexes. Once the sperm and eggs are fully developed they are released into the water column for fertilization. Although there are about 10,000 sperm per egg,[6] large proportions of eggs deposited by blue mussels are never fertilized. As few as 1% of larvae that do mature ever reach adulthood. The majority are eaten by predators before completing metamorphosis.

The reproductive strategy seen in blue mussels is characteristic of planktotrophs. By minimizing nutrients in egg production to the bare minimum they are able to maximize the number of gametes produced. If the adult mussels are stressed during the beginning of gametogenesis, the process is terminated.[7] When stressed while fresh gametes are present, adult mussels reabsorb gametes. Larvae viability is also affected by the condition of parents: high water temperatures, pollutants and scarcity of food, during gamete production.[7] The reduction in viability is probably due to the lack of lipid reserves distributed to the eggs.

Larval development

Larval development can last from 15 to 35 days depending environmental conditions including salinity and temperature, as well as location. Larvae originating from Connecticut mature normally at 15–20 °C (59–68 °F), though at 15 °C (59 °F) normal development occurs at salinities between 15 and 35 ppt and 20 at 35 ppt at 20 °C (68 °F).[8]

The first stage of development is the ciliated embryo, which in 24-hours for fertilization form the trochophore. At this point although mobile, it is still reliant on the yolk for nutrients. Characterized by a functional mouth and alimentary canal the veliger stage also has cilia which are used for filtering food as well as propulsion. A thin translucent shell is secreted by the shell gland forming the notable straight hinge of the prodissoconch I shell. The veliger continues to mature forming the prodissoconch II shell. In the end stage of veliger development photosensitive eye spots and elongated foot with a byssal gland are formed.[9]

Once the pediveliger is fully developed, its foot extends and makes contact with substrate. The initial contact with the substrate is loose. If the substrate is suitable, the larva will metamorphoses into the juvenile form, plantigrade, and attach byssus threads. The mussel will remain in that state until reaching 1-1.5mm in length. This attachment is the prerequisite for the foundation for the blue mussel population. In sheltered environments large masses sometimes form beds which offer shelter and food for other invertebrates. Byssal thread are secreted by byssal glands located in the foot of the mussel, and are made up of polyphenolic proteins are proteins which serve as a bioadhesive.[9]

Aggregation and mussel bed formation

Blue mussels often form aggregations, where they attach to each other using byssus threads. These are collagenous protein strands used for attachment. The type of aggregation depends on population densities.[10] When densities are low, for example in mussel fields – short-lived mussel populations – clumped distribution patterns are seen.[11] The rate of aggregation is aided by the presence of predator cues.[12]

Several explanations for aggregate formation have been offered, such as increase of reproductive success in low density populations,[13] resisting of wave action,[10] and defence against predators.[12] It is, however, still unclear what the main purpose is and aggregation might have different purposes under different circumstances.

Mussel beds are persistent, dense mussel populations. Beds generally form from fields that persist long enough to establish a dense population.[11] In high density aggregations, growth of blue mussels at the centre of the aggregation is reduced, likely due to a reduction in food availability. When possible, mussels will thus migrate to lower densities on larger scales (>7.5 cm), but aggregate on small scales ([10] In areas where blue mussels are threatened, such as the Wadden Sea, it is of great importance to enhance the survival of mussel fields, of which mussel aggregates are the primary component.

Predators

Predation of blue mussels is greatest during the three weeks it spends as a planktonic larva. During this stage it is susceptible to jellyfish and fish larvae through adults. Once it metamorphoses the mussel is still restricted by predation, with smaller mussels with thinner, weaker shells most affected. Once the shells becomes stronger, blue mussels are preyed upon by sea stars such as Asterias vulgaris as well as by several species of sea gulls. The capability of shell thickening by mussels has become a very effective defense mechanism. In the presence of predators a mussel is able to increase shell thickness 5 to 10 percent, which in turn makes opening the shell take 50 percent more time.[14] Small mussels are also eaten by the dog whelk, Nucella lapillus.[15] The blue mussel is host to a wide range of parasites, but these parasites usually do not cause much damage. Blue Mussels are able to fight off one species of predator at a time such as sea star(Asterias Rubens (=Asterias Vulgaris)) or green crabs (Carcinus maenas). They use their inducible defenses to strengthen their adductor muscle or grow thicker shells. When faced with two species at a time, they are no longer able to use their defenses and can be killed more easily.[16]

Uses and ecosystem services

 src=
Boiled blue mussels in Normandy, France

Blue mussels are filter feeders and play a vital role in estuaries by removing bacteria and toxins. Mytilus edulis is commonly harvested for food throughout the world, from both wild and farmed sources. Mussels are a staple of many seafood dishes in various cuisines including Spanish (especially Galician), Portuguese, French, Dutch, Belgian, Italian and Turkey as midye dolma. They are also commonly used as lab animals. Blue mussels were also harvested by the indigenous peoples of North America.[17]

Blue mussels are starting to decline in areas such as the Gulf of Maine. Historical references have shown a decrease of about 40 percent in the last fifty years.[18] This can cause a future problem because mussels are foundation species providing homes and protecting other small animals in the intertidal zone like small fish as well as filtering the water. Mussels filter out bacteria, metals, and toxins, that would increase significantly without mussels around.[19] Ocean acidification due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide is projected to reduce the growth and survival of blue mussels; in turn, this could drastically reduce their positive impact on coastal water quality.[20]

Gallery

References

  1. ^ Paul Sterry (1997). Collins Complete Guide to British Wildlife. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-723683-1.
  2. ^ Mathiesen, Sofie Smedegaard; Thyrring, Jakob; Hemmer-Hansen, Jakob; Berge, Jørgen; Sukhotin, Alexey; Leopold, Peter; Bekaert, Michaël; Sejr, Mikael Kristian; Nielsen, Einar Eg (October 2016). "Genetic diversity and connectivity within Mytilus spp. in the subarctic and Arctic". Evolutionary Applications. 10 (1): 39–55. doi:10.1111/eva.12415. PMC 5192891. PMID 28035234.
  3. ^ a b Borsa, P.; Rolland, V.; Daguin-Thiebaut, C. (2012). "Genetics and taxonomy of Chilean smooth-shelled mussels, Mytilus spp. (Bivalvia: Mytilidae)" (PDF). Comptes Rendus Biologies. 335 (1): 51–61. doi:10.1016/j.crvi.2011.10.002. PMID 22226163.
  4. ^ a b Mallet, André L.; Carver, Claire E. (1995). "Comparative growth and survival patterns of Mytilus trossulus and Mytilus edulis in Atlantic Canada". Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 52 (9): 1873–1880. doi:10.1139/f95-780.
  5. ^ a b c Eggermont, Mieke; Cornillie, Pieter; Dierick, Manuel; Adriaens, Dominique; Nevejan, Nancy; Bossier, Peter; Van Den Broeck, Wim; Sorgeloos, Patrick; Defoirdt, Tom; Declercq, Annelies Maria (2020). "The blue mussel inside: 3D visualization and description of the vascular-related anatomy of Mytilus edulis to unravel hemolymph extraction". Scientific Reports. 10 (1): 6773. Bibcode:2020NatSR..10.6773E. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-62933-9. PMC 7174403. PMID 32317671.
  6. ^ Thompson, R.J. (1979). "Fecundity and reproductive effort in the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis), the sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis), and the snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) from populations in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland". Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada. 36 (8): 955–64. doi:10.1139/f79-133.
  7. ^ a b Bayne, B.; Widdows, J.; Thompson, R. (1976). "Physiological integrations". Marine mussels: their ecology and physiology. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. pp. 261–91. ISBN 9780521210584.
  8. ^ Hrs-Brenko, M.; Calabrese, A. (1976). "The combined effects of salinity and temperature on larvae of the mussel Mytilus edulis". Marine Biology. 4 (3): 224–6. doi:10.1007/BF00393897. S2CID 84634421.
  9. ^ a b Rzepecki, Leszek M.; Hansen, Karolyn M.; Waite, J. Herbert (August 1992). "Characterization of a cystine-rich polyphenolic protein family from the blue mussel Mytilus edulis L.". The Biological Bulletin. 183 (1): 123–37. doi:10.2307/1542413. JSTOR 1542413. PMID 29304577.
  10. ^ a b c van de Koppel, J.; Gascoigne, J. C.; Theraulaz, G.; Rietkerk, M.; Mooij, W. M.; Herman, P. M. J. (2008). "Experimental Evidence for Spatial Self-Organization and Its Emergent Effects in Mussel Bed Ecosystems" (PDF). Science. 322 (5902): 739–742. Bibcode:2008Sci...322..739V. doi:10.1126/science.1163952. PMID 18974353. S2CID 2340587.
  11. ^ a b Nehls, Georg; Witte, Sophia; Büttger, Heike; Dankers, Norbert; Jansen, Jeroen; Millat, Gerald; Herlyn, Mark; Markert, Alexandra; Kristensen, Per Sand; Ruth, Maarten; Buschbaum, Christian; Wehrmann, Achim (2009). "Beds of blue mussels and Pacific oysters" (PDF). In Marencic, Harald; de Vlas, Jaap (eds.). Quality Status Report 2009. Wilhelmshaven: Common Wadden Sea Secretariat.
  12. ^ a b Côté, Isabelle M; Jelnikar, Eva (1999). "Predator-induced clumping behaviour in mussels (Mytilus edulis Linnaeus)". Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 235 (2): 201–211. doi:10.1016/S0022-0981(98)00155-5.
  13. ^ Downing, John A.; Downing, William L. (1992). "Spatial Aggregation, Precision, and Power in Surveys of Freshwater Mussel Populations". Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 49 (5): 985–91. doi:10.1139/f92-110. S2CID 85413789.
  14. ^ Stokstad, E. (2006). "EVOLUTION: Native Mussel Quickly Evolves Fear of Invasive Crab". Science. 313 (5788): 745a. doi:10.1126/science.313.5788.745a. PMID 16902097. S2CID 5987050.
  15. ^ Petraitis, Peter S. (June 1987). "Immobilization of the Predatory Gastropod, Nucella lapillus, by Its Prey, Mytilus edulis". Biological Bulletin. 172 (3): 307–14. doi:10.2307/1541710. JSTOR 1541710.
  16. ^ Freeman, Aaren S.; Meszaros, John; Byers, James E. (2009). "Poor phenotypic integration of blue mussel inducible defenses in environments with multiple predators". Oikos. 118 (5): 758–766. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0706.2008.17176.x. ISSN 1600-0706.
  17. ^ Robert Butler (1999) The Great Blue Heron (in Google Books)
  18. ^ Wight, Patty. "Blue Mussels in Decline in Gulf of Maine". www.mainepublic.org.
  19. ^ Vasich, Tom (9 August 2016). "Why are New England's wild blue mussels disappearing?". UCI News.
  20. ^ Doney, Scott C.; Busch, D. Shallin; Cooley, Sarah R.; Kroeker, Kristy J. (2020). "The Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Ecosystems and Reliant Human Communities". Annual Review of Environment and Resources. 45: 83–112. doi:10.1146/annurev-environ-012320-083019.

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Blue mussel: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

The blue mussel (Mytilus edulis), also known as the common mussel, is a medium-sized edible marine bivalve mollusc in the family Mytilidae, the mussels. Blue mussels are subject to commercial use and intensive aquaculture. A species with a large range, empty shells are commonly found on beaches around the world.

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Distribution

provided by World Register of Marine Species
Arctic Ocean to South Carolina; Alaska to Carolina
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Check List of European Marine Mollusca (CLEMAM). Check List of European Marine Mollusca (CLEMAM). North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) Katsanevakis, S.; Bogucarskis, K.; Gatto, F.; Vandekerkhove, J.; Deriu, I.; Cardoso A.S. (2012). Building the European Alien Species Information Network (EASIN): a novel approach for the exploration of distributed alien species data. <em>BioInvasions Records.</em> 1: 235-245. Katsanevakis, S.; Bogucarskis, K.; Gatto, F.; Vandekerkhove, J.; Deriu, I.; Cardoso A.S. (2012). Building the European Alien Species Information Network (EASIN): a novel approach for the exploration of distributed alien species data. <em>BioInvasions Records.</em> 1: 235-245. Crego-Prieto, V.; Ardura, A.; Juanes, F.; Roca, A.; Taylor, J. S.; Garcia-Vazquez, E. (2015). Aquaculture and the spread of introduced mussel genes in British Columbia. <em>Biological Invasions.</em> 17(7): 2011-2026. Crego-Prieto, V.; Ardura, A.; Juanes, F.; Roca, A.; Taylor, J. S.; Garcia-Vazquez, E. (2015). Aquaculture and the spread of introduced mussel genes in British Columbia. <em>Biological Invasions.</em> 17(7): 2011-2026.
contributor
Kennedy, Mary [email]
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Kennedy, Mary [email]

Habitat

provided by World Register of Marine Species
intertidal, bathyal, infralittoral and circalittoral of the Gulf and estuary
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cc-by-4.0
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WoRMS Editorial Board
bibliographic citation
Check List of European Marine Mollusca (CLEMAM). Check List of European Marine Mollusca (CLEMAM). North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) Katsanevakis, S.; Bogucarskis, K.; Gatto, F.; Vandekerkhove, J.; Deriu, I.; Cardoso A.S. (2012). Building the European Alien Species Information Network (EASIN): a novel approach for the exploration of distributed alien species data. <em>BioInvasions Records.</em> 1: 235-245. Katsanevakis, S.; Bogucarskis, K.; Gatto, F.; Vandekerkhove, J.; Deriu, I.; Cardoso A.S. (2012). Building the European Alien Species Information Network (EASIN): a novel approach for the exploration of distributed alien species data. <em>BioInvasions Records.</em> 1: 235-245. Crego-Prieto, V.; Ardura, A.; Juanes, F.; Roca, A.; Taylor, J. S.; Garcia-Vazquez, E. (2015). Aquaculture and the spread of introduced mussel genes in British Columbia. <em>Biological Invasions.</em> 17(7): 2011-2026. Crego-Prieto, V.; Ardura, A.; Juanes, F.; Roca, A.; Taylor, J. S.; Garcia-Vazquez, E. (2015). Aquaculture and the spread of introduced mussel genes in British Columbia. <em>Biological Invasions.</em> 17(7): 2011-2026.
contributor
Kennedy, Mary [email]
contributor
Kennedy, Mary [email]