High rates of biodeposition and N-excretion indicate strong functional effects of mussels (Bivalvia: Unionida) in certain anthropogenic tropical freshwater habitats

A. Zieritz (Corresponding author), W.N. Chan, S. McGowan, C. Gibbins

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The functional roles of freshwater mussels (Unionida) in tropical systems are poorly understood. We quantified the effects of mussel filtration, excretion and deposition in three anthropogenic tropical systems, i.e. a man-made lake, abandoned mining pool and rice paddy channel. Sinanodonta cf. woodiana (non-native) was present at all three sites, whilst Pilsbryoconcha compressa (native) was present in the channel only. Clearance rates, biodeposition rates and effects on suspended algal pigment and dissolved nutrient concentrations were quantified in controlled, replicated experiments in laboratory tanks with water from original habitats. Clearance rates were generally low and did not explain the high biodeposition rates observed. A considerable proportion of the natural diet of these populations may therefore consist of material that was not available in tanks, i.e. benthic or deposited algae. Deposition rates in lake and channel populations exceeded published rates from temperate and Mediterranean habitats, presumably due to prevalence of non-palatable material and/or higher metabolic rates in tropical systems. The presence of S. cf. woodiana but not P. compressa led to a strong increase in total ammonia nitrogen concentrations and N:P ratios, exceeding estimations from other systems. This study suggests that freshwater mussels play different functional roles in anthropogenic tropical habitats than in temperate systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3153-3166
Number of pages14
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume848
Issue number12-13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Experimental ecology
  • Invasive species
  • Invertebrates
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Phytoplankton
  • Tropical ecology

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