Validation of trophic and anthropic underwater noise as settlement trigger in blue mussels

Like the majority of benthic invertebrates, the blue mussel Mytilus edulis has a bentho-pelagic cycle with its larval settlement being a complex phenomenon involving numerous factors. Among these factors, underwater noise and pelagic trophic conditions have been weakly studied in previous researches. Under laboratory conditions, we tested the hypothesis that picoplankton assimilation by the pediveliger blue mussel larvae acts as a food cue that interacts with anthropic underwater sound to stimulate settlement. We used C-13-labeling microalgae to validate the assimilation of different picoplankton species in the tissues of pediveliger larvae. Our results clearly confirm our hypothesis with a significant synergic effect of these two factors. However, only the picoeukaryotes strains assimilated by larvae stimulated the settlement, whereas the non-ingested picocyanobacteria did not. Similar positive responses were observed with underwater sound characterized by low frequency vessel noises. The combination of both factors (trophic and vessel noise) drastically increased the mussel settlement by an order of 4 compared to the control (without picoplankton and noise). Settlement levels ranged from 16.5 to 67% in 67 h.

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Jolivet Aurelie, Tremblay Rejean, Olivier Frederic, Gervaise Cedric, Sonier Remi, Genard Betrand, Chauvaud Laurent (2016). Validation of trophic and anthropic underwater noise as settlement trigger in blue mussels. Scientific Reports. 6 (33829). 8p..,

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