Indicators of short-term growth in bivalves : detecting environmental change across ecological scales

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dc.contributor.advisor Thrush, Simon en
dc.contributor.advisor Wells, Rufus en
dc.contributor.author Norrko, Joanna T en
dc.date.accessioned 2020-07-08T04:58:34Z en
dc.date.available 2020-07-08T04:58:34Z en
dc.date.issued 2005 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/52078 en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract Marine benthic communities function within the constraints of changing environmental conditions. To better understand the dynamics of this relationship, increased knowledge of physiological mechanisms that link environmental conditions to ecological responses is imperative. This thesis considers the effects of increased sedimentation, hypoxia, food availability, and habitat characteristics on bivalve physiology using two temperate species, Austrovenus stutchburyi and Paphies australis, and two Antarctic species, Adamussium colbecki and Laternula elliptica. Methods for quantification of nucleic acid ratios (RNA:DNA ratio, RNA:protein ratio, or RNA concentration as a measure of protein synthesis capacity) were developed and compared with other indicators of bivalve fitness, such as conditions indices and scope for growth. Bivalve nucleic acid ratios were analysed over several temporal and spatial scales in a combination of laboratory experiments, field experiments, transplants and surveys. The magnitude of response in RNA concentration (RNA) varied seasonally, along environmental gradients, and with bivalve species and size class. The major factor affecting RNA was enhanced food availability, which appeared to have the potential to mask any negative effects of stressors. Over the short-term (10-14 d), elevated suspended sediment concentrations or single deposition of terrigenous clay did not affect RNA, but over the longer term (months), transplantation of bivalves to turbid sites and repeated deposition of clay had a slight negative effect on RNA. In the laboratory, hypoxia did not affect the fast increase in RNA in response to added food or the slow decrease in RNA in response to starvation. In addition, a species-specific baseline RNA concentration was indicated, possibly representing the basal metabolism of a species. Thus, RNA was more sensitive to factors facilitating growth than to factors inhibiting growth, indicating that RNA could be a good indicator of factors related to energy acquisition, while not being as sensitive to stressors. By assessing the variability in response across time and space scales, and considering the context and time scale of both the stressor and the response, organism-level measures may be used as part of an integrated approach in impact assessment and ecological experiments. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99151012414002091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title Indicators of short-term growth in bivalves : detecting environmental change across ecological scales en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Biological Sciences en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en


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