Marine Biology

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 11–19 | Cite as

Seasonal changes in the physiology, reproductive condition and carbohydrate content of the cockle Cardium (=Cerastoderma) edule (Bivalvia: Cardiidae)

  • R. I. E. Newell
  • B. L. Bayne


Pronounced seasonal cycles in the rates of oxygen consumption and feeding were found for Cardium (=Cerastoderma) edule L. measured in the field under ambient conditions. The cockles had a maximum rate of oxygen consumption (0.89 ml O2 g-1 h-1) in April which declined to a minimum of 0.35 ml O2 g-1 h-1 in March. Their feeding rate was variable but had a maximum value (3.91 l g-1 h-1) in April and a minimum value (0.73 l g-1 h-1) in October. There was no apparent seasonal variation in absorption efficiency, with a mean value of 67.6%. Gametogenesis was initiated in January and the population reached a peak in reproductive condition in April/May, followed by a 3 month spawning period. Carbohydrate reserves were synthesised during spawning, and were then utilised during the winter and early spring. An adaptive function for a reduction in time spent feeding is postulated, and correlations between the rates of certain physiological processes and some exogenous and endogenous variables are discussed.


Carbohydrate Seasonal Variation Oxygen Consumption Bivalvia Physiological Process 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. I. E. Newell
    • 1
  • B. L. Bayne
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Marine Environmental ResearchNatural Environment Research CouncilPlymouthEngland

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