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1 December 2006 RELATION OF SEASONAL CHANGES IN THE MASS OF THE GONAD AND SOMATIC TISSUES OF THE ZEBRA ARK SHELL ARCA ZEBRA TO ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS
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Abstract

Over the period from June 2002 to June 2003, we examined the relationship of seasonal changes in the mass of the gonad and somatic tissues to environmental factors for four size groups of the zebra ark shell Arca zebra at Chacopata, in northeastern Venezuela. The gonads of A. zebra began to increase in size when individuals attained 18–20 mm in shell length, but maximum gonad mass relative to somatic mass was only attained at 55–60 mm in length. Large individuals (>50 mm) showed a distinct annual reproductive cycle with a marked increase in gonad mass from July to late September 2002, coinciding with the increase in temperatures related to stratification of the water column. A decrease in gonad size occurred during October 2002 through January 2003 and coincided with a temperature decline related to renewed upwelling. The mass of somatic tissues was highest between late August to late December 2002, coinciding with the reproductive period and elevated temperatures. Other environmental factors showed little seasonal variation, although chlorophyll a concentration was lowest during the major period of increase in the gonad and somatic tissues (July to late September 2002), suggesting that the animals were not limited by the abundance of phytoplankton food. A. zebra seemed to be well adapted to the high loads of inorganic seston found in the Chacopata region.

MARÍA LISTA, CÉSAR LODEIROS, ANTULIO PRIETO, JOHN H. HIMMELMAN, JULIAN CASTAÑEDA, NATIVIDAD GACÍA, and CARLOS VELAZQUEZ "RELATION OF SEASONAL CHANGES IN THE MASS OF THE GONAD AND SOMATIC TISSUES OF THE ZEBRA ARK SHELL ARCA ZEBRA TO ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS," Journal of Shellfish Research 25(3), 969-973, (1 December 2006). https://doi.org/10.2983/0730-8000(2006)25[969:ROSCIT]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 December 2006
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