Life history traits and population processes in marine bivalve molluscs
Ripley, Bonnie J.
MetadataShow full item record
In this thesis, I investigated the how the life history characteristics of the clam Mya arenaria determine the population response to chronic contaminant exposure. To predict the potential responses of a broadcast-spawning life history such as that of M. arenaria, I surveyed the literature on a variety of bivalve species. By incorporating information on growth, survival, and reproduction into matrix population models I could evaluate the relative contributions of these factors to fitness. For broadcast-spawners, long life is an important factor enabling them to gamble on rare, large recruitment events. Another important aspect of the broadcast spawning strategy is the possibility of high variation in larval settlement from year to year. I evaluated the role that this variability plays using a stochastic matrix model, and showed that it tends to increase population growth because of the larger size of rarer, successful recruitment events. With an understanding of how the life history traits of M. arenaria might control its responses to change in the environment, I analyzed the vital rates of clams at clean and contaminated sites. The effects of contaminants measured in the lab do not necessarily predict population condition in the field. Since surviving with a long life span contributes the most to fitness in broadcast-spawning bivalves, effects on reproductive output and juvenile survival, which are strong in many lab studies, may not necessarily playa large role in field populations. The life history of this clam, with natural variation in recruitment from year to year, further reduces the population dependence on high reproductive output and larval survival. The combination of little population-level relevance of the strongest contaminant effects, and potential contaminant effects on very important clam predators, could explain why populations at contaminated sites are observed to be growing the fastest. The interaction of contaminant exposure and normal ecological processes determines the overall impact on the population.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution February 1998
Suggested CitationThesis: Ripley, Bonnie J., "Life history traits and population processes in marine bivalve molluscs", 1998-02, DOI:10.1575/1912/4785, https://hdl.handle.net/1912/4785
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Edenius, Maja Lena (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2018-02)Signaling pathways that respond to stress and sense nutrient availability are highly conserved throughout eukaryotes. In mammalian cells, these pathways have evolved to regulate immune responses, representing important ...
Insight into chemical, biological, and physical processes in coastal waters from dissolved oxygen and inert gas tracers Manning, Cara C. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2017-02)In this thesis, I use coastal measurements of dissolved O2 and inert gases to provide insight into the chemical, biological, and physical processes that impact the oceanic cycles of carbon and dissolved gases. Dissolved ...
Coral biomineralization, climate proxies and the sensitivity of coral reefs to CO2-driven climate change DeCarlo, Thomas M. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2017-02)Scleractinian corals extract calcium (Ca2+) and carbonate (CO2−3) ions from seawater to construct their calcium carbonate (CaCO3) skeletons. Key to the coral biomineralization process is the active elevation of the CO2−3 ...