New species longevity record for the northern quahog (=hard clam), Mercenaria mercenaria
Ridgway, Iain D.
Richardson, C. A.
Austad, S. N.
Philipp, E. E. R.
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Twenty-two large shells (>90 mm shell height) from a sample of live collected hard shell clams, Mercenaria mercenaria, from Buzzards Bay, Woods Hole, Cape Cod, MA, were subjected to sclerochronological analysis. Annually resolved growth lines in the hinge region and margin of the shell were identified and counted; the age of the oldest clam shell was determined to be at least 106 y. This age represents a considerable increase in the known maximum life span for M. mercenaria, more than doubling the maximum recorded life span of the species (46 y). More than 85% of the clam shells aged had more than 46 annual increments, the previous known maximum life span for the species. In this article we present growth rate and growth performance indicators (the overall growth performance and phi prime) for this record-breaking population of M. mercenaria. Recently discovered models of aging require accurate age records and growth parameters for bivalve populations if they are to be utilized to their full potential.
Author Posting. © National Shellfisheries Association, 2011. This article is posted here by permission of National Shellfisheries Association for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Shellfish Research 30 (2011): 35-38, doi:10.2983/035.030.0106.
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