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30 de agosto de 2010

Shell shape variation in populations of Mytilus chilensis (Hupe 1854) from southern Chile: a geometric morphometric approach

Shell shape variation in populations of Mytilus chilensis (Hupe 1854) from southern Chile: a geometric morphometric approach

Alejandro Valladares, Germán Manríquez and Benjamín A. Suárez-Isla

Marine Biology, DOI: 10.1007/s00227-010-1532-3

The pattern of shell shape variation in populations of the mussel, Mytilus chilensis (Hupe 1854) from Southern Chile was analyzed as a function of sample origin (cultivated vs. wild) and latitude, using standard tools of geometric morphometrics for landmark data. Additionally, posterior adductor muscle index (PAMI), Freeman condition index and shell thickness were measured in each sample. Highly significant differences in shell shape components were found among mussel populations. These differences are related to the origin of samples (expansion of the posterior adductor muscle scar, elongation of the lateral ligament and of the ventral umbo position in non-cultivated samples) and to latitude (more elongated shells and more extended posterior adductor muscle scar in most southern samples when compared with the northernmost ones). PAMI and shell thickness were statistically higher in wild population, and Freeman condition index was higher in cultivated shells. It is suggested that in wild populations of M. chilensis, the mussels may face higher predator pressures and other environmental stress factors. Consequently, individuals may be using higher energy fraction to reinforce shells and to promote adductor muscle growth at the expense of somatic growth. In contrast, individuals found in calm aquaculture environments are relatively protected from predators and use most of their assimilated energy in somatic growth. In turn, this growth depends on changes that covariate with shell morphology.

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