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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-04-30
    Description: Baltic blue mussels colonise and dominate benthic habitats with much lower salinity than any other marine mytilid population globally. Surprisingly, all Baltic populations are hybrids of Mytilus edulis x M. trossulus genotypes with the former dominating hybrid genotypes in the western (high salinity) and the latter in the eastern part of the Baltic (low salinity). Here, we tested if low salinity selects for M. trossulus dominated hybrid genotypes and whether populations along the salinity gradient are locally adapted to their specific salinity regimes. Using laboratory larval rearing trials, we can show that Baltic M. trossulus hybrids have higher fitness when exposed to salinities 〈10 psu whereas Baltic M. edulis hybrids have higher fitness at a salinity of 16 psu. In addition, we can demonstrate that populations from the centre of the hybrid cline can be selected towards Baltic M. trossulus hybrids at low salinities, with allele shifts significantly beyond genetic drift expectations. We conclude that salinity driven selection can shape mussel populations and hence allows for local adaptation to extremely low environmental salinity. Future climate change driven desalination therefore has the potential to shift the Baltic Sea hybrid gradient to the west, with important implications for ecology and aquaculture.
    Type: Dataset
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  • 2
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    Elsevier
    In:  Marine Genomics, 27 . pp. 3-7.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The three species in the blue mussel complex (Mytilus edulis, Mytilus galloprovincialis and Mytilus trossulus) show varying levels of hybridisation wherever they occur sympatrically. The spatial variation in hybridisation patterns is potentially governed by environmental conditions, larval dispersal and aquaculture practices. Commercial mussel cultivation has been shown to increase hybridisation through introduction of non-native species or spat transfer. There is evidence that mussel cultivation may promote commercially less desirable phenotypes (e.g. fragile shells), however, to what extent hybridisation impacts aquaculture is currently not clear. The aim of this review is to summarize the available information on Mytilus hybridisation patterns in Europe and their promotion through aquaculture practices in order to shed light on the overall implications for the aquaculture industry.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Parasitic and commensal species can impact the structure and function of ecological communities and are typically highly specialized to overcome host defences. Here, we report multiple instances of a normally free-living species, the blue mussel Mytilus edulis Linnaeus, 1758, inhabiting the branchial chamber of the shore crab Carcinus maenas (Linnaeus, 1758) collected from widely separated geographical locations. A total of 127 C. maenas were examined from four locations in the English Channel, one location in the Irish Sea and two locations at the entrance of the Baltic Sea. The branchial chambers of three crabs (one from the English Channel and two from Gullmar Fjord, Sweden) were infested with mussels resembling the genus Mytilus. Sequencing at the Me15/16 locus on the polyphenolic adhesive protein gene confirmed the identity as M. edulis. Bivalve infestation always occurred in larger red male individuals. Up to 16 mussels, ranging from 2 to 11 mm in shell length, were found in each individual, either wedged between gill lamellae or attached to the branchial chamber inner wall. This is one of the first reports of a bivalve inhabiting crustacean gills and is an intriguing case of a normally free-living prey species infesting its predator
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Shape variability represents an important direct response of organisms to selective environments. Here, we use a combination of geometric morphometrics and generalised additive mixed models (GAMMs) to identify spatial patterns of natural shell shape variation in the North Atlantic and Arctic blue mussels, Mytilus edulis and M. trossulus, with environmental gradients of temperature, salinity and food availability across 3980 km of coastlines. New statistical methods and multiple study systems at various geographical scales allowed the uncoupling of the developmental and genetic contributions to shell shape and made it possible to identify general relationships between blue mussel shape variation and environment that are independent of age and species influences. We find salinity had the strongest effect on the latitudinal patterns of Mytilus shape, producing shells that were more elongated, narrower and with more parallel dorsoventral margins at lower salinities. Temperature and food supply, however, were the main drivers of mussel shape heterogeneity. Our findings revealed similar shell shape responses in Mytilus to less favourable environmental conditions across the different geographical scales analysed. Our results show how shell shape plasticity represents a powerful indicator to understand the alterations of blue mussel communities in rapidly changing environments.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 5
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    In:  (Doctoral thesis/PhD), Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Kiel, Germany, nn pp
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The Baltic Sea salinity gradient provides an excellent system to investigate how seawater ion availability impacts calcification rates and the energetic costs of calcification. Additionally, the gradual changes in environmental conditions along this gradient also provide an excellent system to investigate how environmental salinity drives natural selection and local adaptation. In this thesis the effects of salinity on calcification rates and costs were investigated in mytilid mussels using laboratory experiments. In addition, the extent of local adaptation and salinity driven selection in Baltic mytilid larvae were also investigated as well as the mechanisms behind potential local adaptations. Findings suggest that calcification rates at low salinity are limited by calcium availability and the costs of calcification are higher at low salinity compared to high salinity. Costs of calcification in mussels were also found to constitute up to 58 % of available energy, considerably higher than previously estimated. Low salinity populations of Baltic mytilid mussels exhibit local adaptation to low salinities observed by better growth, lower mortality and higher settlement success at low salinities than high salinity adapted populations. The mechanisms behind these adaptations appear to be adaptive changes in intracellular osmolytes with low salinity populations containing higher concentrations of cations than high salinity populations. Overall, these findings suggest calcification is a costly process at low salinities and may be responsible for slow growth rates of mussels at low salinity. Additionally, salinity is a powerful selective force driving local adaptation and genetic divergence in Baltic Sea mussels and the mechanisms behind this adaptation appear to be changes in intracellular osmolytes and potentially, the cellular processes of calcification.
    Type: Thesis , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-05-24
    Description: In coastal temperate regions such as the Baltic Sea, calcifying bivalves dominate benthic communities playing a vital ecological role in maintaining biodiversity and nutrient recycling. At low salinities, bivalves exhibit reduced growth and calcification rates which is thought to result from physiological constraints associated with osmotic stress. Calcification demands a considerable amount of energy in calcifying molluscs and estuarine habitats provide sub-optimal conditions for calcification due to low concentrations of calcification substrates and large variations in carbonate chemistry. Therefore, we hypothesize that slow growth rates in estuarine bivalves result from increased costs of calcification, rather than costs associated with osmotic stress. To investigate this, we estimated the cost of calcification for the first time in benthic bivalve life stages and the relative energy allocation to calcification in three Mytilus populations along the Baltic salinity gradient. Our results indicate that calcification rates are significantly reduced only in 6 psu populations compared to 11 and 16 psu populations, coinciding with ca. 2–3-fold higher calcification costs at low salinity and temperature. This suggests that reduced growth of Baltic Mytilus at low salinities results from increased calcification costs rather than osmotic stress related costs. We also reveal that shell growth (both calcification and shell organic production) demands 31–60% of available assimilated energy from food, which is significantly higher than previous estimates. Energetically expensive calcification represents a major constraint on growth of mytilids in the estuarine and coastal seas where warming, acidification and desalination are predicted over the next century.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-05-23
    Description: In estuarine coastal systems such as the Baltic Sea, mussels suffer from low salinity which limits their distribution. Anthropogenic climate change is expected to cause further desalination which will lead to local extinctions of mussels in the low saline areas. It is commonly accepted that mussel distribution is limited by osmotic stress. However, along the salinity gradient environmental conditions for biomineralization are successively becoming more adverse as a result of reduced [Ca2+] and dissolved inorganic carbon (CT) availability. In larvae, calcification is an essential process starting during early development with formation of the prodissoconch I (PD I) shell which is completed under optimal conditions within 2 days. Experimental manipulations of seawater [Ca2+] start to impair PD I formation in Mytilus larvae at concentrations below 3 mM, which corresponds to conditions present in the Baltic at salinities below 8 g kg-1. In addition, lowering dissolved inorganic carbon to critical concentrations (〈 1 mM) similarly affected PD I size which was well correlated with calculated ΩAragonite and [Ca2+][HCO3-]/[H+] in all treatments. Comparing results for larvae from the western Baltic with a population from the central Baltic revealed significantly higher tolerance of PD I formation to lowered [Ca2+] and [Ca2+][HCO3-]/[H+] in the low saline adapted population. This may result from genetic adaptation to the more adverse environmental conditions prevailing in the low saline areas of the Baltic. The combined effects of lowered [Ca2+] and adverse carbonate chemistry represent major limiting factors for bivalve calcification and can thereby contribute to distribution limits of mussels in the Baltic Sea.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 8
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    PANGAEA
    In:  Supplement to: Thomsen, Jörn; Ramesh, Kirti; Sanders, Trystan; Bleich, Markus; Melzner, Frank (2018): Calcification in a marginal sea - influence of seawater [Ca2+] and carbonate chemistry on bivalve shell formation. Biogeosciences, 15(5), 1469-1482, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-15-1469-2018
    Publication Date: 2019-06-11
    Description: Experiments were performed to test the effect of seawater [Ca2+] on the formation rate of the larval prodissoconch I shell in 'Baltic mussels in combination with modified carbonate chemistry. In addition, [Ca2+] of the extrapallial fluid were measured in depdendency of the seawater [Ca2+]. These experimental data were correlated with the [Ca2+] present in the Baltic Sea.
    Type: Dataset
    Format: text/tab-separated-values, 935 data points
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-09-02
    Description: Although geographical patterns of species' sensitivity to environmental changes are defined by interacting multiple stressors, little is known about compensatory processes shaping regional differences in organismal vulnerability. Here, we examine large-scale spatial variations in biomineralization under heterogeneous environmental gradients of temperature, salinity and food availability across a 30° latitudinal range (3,334 km), to test whether plasticity in calcareous shell production and composition, from juveniles to large adults, mediates geographical patterns of resilience to climate change in critical foundation species, the mussels Mytilus edulis and M. trossulus. We find shell calcification decreased towards high latitude, with mussels producing thinner shells with a higher organic content in polar than temperate regions. Salinity was the best predictor of within-region differences in mussel shell deposition, mineral and organic composition. In polar, subpolar, and Baltic low-salinity environments, mussels produced thin shells with a thicker external organic layer (periostracum), and an increased proportion of calcite (prismatic layer, as opposed to aragonite) and organic matrix, providing potentially higher resistance against dissolution in more corrosive waters. Conversely, in temperate, higher salinity regimes, thicker, more calcified shells with a higher aragonite (nacreous layer) proportion were deposited, which suggests enhanced protection under increased predation pressure. Interacting effects of salinity and food availability on mussel shell composition predict the deposition of a thicker periostracum and organic-enriched prismatic layer under forecasted future environmental conditions, suggesting a capacity for increased protection of high-latitude populations from ocean acidification. These findings support biomineralization plasticity as a potentially advantageous compensatory mechanism conferring Mytilus species a protective capacity for quantitative and qualitative trade-offs in shell deposition as a response to regional alterations of abiotic and biotic conditions in future environments. Our work illustrates that compensatory mechanisms, driving plastic responses to the spatial structure of multiple stressors, can define geographical patterns of unanticipated species resilience to global environmental change.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2018-03-09
    Description: In estuarine coastal systems such as the Baltic Sea, mussels suffer from low salinity which limits their distribution. Anthropogenic climate change is expected to cause further desalination which will lead to local extinctions of mussels in the low saline areas. It is commonly accepted that mussel distribution is limited by osmotic stress. However, along the salinity gradient, environmental conditions for biomineralization are successively becoming more adverse as a result of reduced [Ca2+] and dissolved inorganic carbon (CT) availability. In larvae, calcification is an essential process starting during early development with formation of the prodissoconch I (PD I) shell, which is completed under optimal conditions within 2 days. Experimental manipulations of seawater [Ca2+] start to impair PD I formation in Mytilus larvae at concentrations below 3mM, which corresponds to conditions present in the Baltic at salinities below 8gkg−1. In addition, lowering dissolved inorganic carbon to critical concentrations (〈1mM) similarly affected PD I size, which was well correlated with calculated ΩAragonite and [Ca2+][HCO3-]∕[H+] in all treatments. Comparing results for larvae from the western Baltic with a population from the central Baltic revealed a significantly higher tolerance of PD I formation to lowered [Ca2+] and [Ca2+][HCO3-]∕[H+] in the low saline adapted population. This may result from genetic adaptation to the more adverse environmental conditions prevailing in the low saline areas of the Baltic. The combined effects of lowered [Ca2+] and adverse carbonate chemistry represent major limiting factors for bivalve calcification and can thereby contribute to distribution limits of mussels in the Baltic Sea.
    Print ISSN: 1726-4170
    Electronic ISSN: 1726-4189
    Topics: Biology , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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