Marine Biology

, Volume 158, Issue 11, pp 2481–2493 | Cite as

Temperature and salinity tolerances of embryos and larvae of the deep-sea mytilid mussel “Bathymodioluschildressi

  • Shawn M. ArellanoEmail author
  • Craig M. Young
Original Paper


We examined temperature and salinity tolerances of early embryonic and larval stages of the deep-sea, cold-seep mussel “Bathymodiolus” childressi to determine whether they may control the dispersal depth of larvae. Salinity and temperature tolerances increased with developmental stage, but tolerance ranges were not as wide for the larvae of “B.” childressi as for the larvae of the related shallow-water mussel Mytilus trossulus. Normal development occurred in “B.” childressi from 7 to 15°C and at salinities of 35 and 45. Greater tolerance of “B.” childressi embryos to high than low salinities may aid development of negatively buoyant early embryos at brine seeps. Although there was a decreasing trend in survival of “B.” childressi larvae with increasing temperature, survival of “B.” childressi trochophores was not significantly different at 20°C than at the adults’ ambient temperature. Since larvae tolerate increasing temperatures as they age and seawater temperatures at 100 m depth do not exceed 20°C in months following the mussels’ spawning season, we suggest that temperature would not limit vertical migration of the veliger larvae of “B.” childressi into even the uppermost layer of the water column above the cold seeps in the Gulf of Mexico.


Salinity Tolerance Hydrothermal Vent Blue Mussel Cold Seep Physiological Tolerance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by National Science Foundation grant OCE-0118733 to C.M.Y. S.M.A. was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship. C. R. Fisher and R. S. Carney generously donated ship and submersible time and C. R. Fisher provided some live “Bathymodiolus” childressi samples. We gratefully acknowledge S. Brooke, A. L. Van Gaest, T. Smart, M. Wolf, and M. Holmes for helping to maintain mussels in the laboratory and S. Mills for proofreading the final draft of this manuscript. The suggestions of two anonymous reviewers and H.O. Portner greatly improved this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oregon Institute of Marine BiologyUniversity of OregonCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyWoods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleUSA

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