Towards the Determination of Mytilus edulis Food Preferences Using the Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) Theory

The blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, is a commercially important species, with production based on both fisheries and aquaculture. Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) models have been extensively applied to study its energetics but such applications require a deep understanding of its nutrition, from filtration to assimilation. Being filter feeders, mussels show multiple responses to temporal fluctuations in their food and environment, raising questions that can be investigated by modeling. To provide a better insight into mussel–environment interactions, an experiment was conducted in one of the main French growing zones (Utah Beach, Normandy). Mussel growth was monitored monthly for 18 months, with a large number of environmental descriptors measured in parallel. Food proxies such as chlorophyll a, particulate organic carbon and phytoplankton were also sampled, in addition to non-nutritious particles. High-frequency physical data recording (e.g., water temperature, immersion duration) completed the habitat description. Measures revealed an increase in dry flesh mass during the first year, followed by a high mass loss, which could not be completely explained by the DEB model using raw external signals. We propose two methods that reconstruct food from shell length and dry flesh mass variations. The former depends on the inversion of the growth equation while the latter is based on iterative simulations. Assemblages of food proxies are then related to reconstructed food input, with a special focus on plankton species. A characteristic contribution is attributed to these sources to estimate nutritional values for mussels. M. edulis shows no preference between most plankton life history traits. Selection is based on the size of the ingested particles, which is modified by the volume and social behavior of plankton species. This finding reveals the importance of diet diversity and both passive and active selections, and confirms the need to adjust DEB models to different populations and sites.
How to cite
Picoche Coralie, Le Gendre Romain, Flye-Sainte-Marie Jonathan, Francoise Sylvaine, Maheux Frank, Simon Benjamin, Gangnery Aline (2014). Towards the Determination of Mytilus edulis Food Preferences Using the Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) Theory. Plos One. 9 (10). 1-13.,

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