Growth, longevity, and climate-growth relationships of Corbicula fluminea (Muller, 1774) in Hongze Lake, China

TitleGrowth, longevity, and climate-growth relationships of Corbicula fluminea (Muller, 1774) in Hongze Lake, China
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsLi, J., Rypel A. L., Zhang S. Y. Y., Luo Y. M. M., Hou G., Murphy B. R., and Xie S. G. G.
JournalFreshwater Science
Number of Pages595-608
Date PublishedSep
Type of ArticleArticle
Reprint Number2161-9549
LTER Accession NumberWOS:000407373600012
Keywordsannuli; clam; cross-dating; sclerochronology; thin-section; water level, Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Marine & Freshwater Biology, fresh-water mussels; arctica-islandica mollusca; life-history traits;, population-dynamics; invasive bivalve; age-determination; community, structure; asiatic clam; shell growth; die-offs

Corbicula fluminea is invasive in other parts of the world, but in China, it is native and supports important commercial fisheries. Surprisingly little is known about the ecology of native C. fluminea populations in China, including how life-history parameters, such as growth, may respond to widely variable environmental conditions, especially water-level management. A native C. fluminea population that supports a local commercial fishery in Hongze Lake (the 4th-largest freshwater lake in China and the largest impounded lake on the East Route of the South to North Water Transfer Project [ESNT]) was studied. Age, growth, and climate-growth relationships were estimated based on thin-sectioned shells. Sclerochronological techniques were used to detrend individual growth measurement series and to investigate climate factors that influenced growth over time. Six age-classes of C. fluminea were identified. Lee's phenomenon (i.e., underestimated sizes at earlier age classes in survivors) was evident. A von Bertalanffy growth function was fitted to estimate shell height (SH)-at-age (SH infinity = 45.2 mm, k = 0.13 and t(o)= -1.11). Growth rates of individuals were extremely synchronous over time (2007-2011) (interseries r = 0.81), suggesting common growth drivers among individuals. Growth was positively correlated with food availability (chlorophyll a), annual runoff, regional annual total precipitation, and lake water level, and negatively correlated with extreme temperatures and annual temperature variance. The results suggest current water-level management practices that lower water level during summer may be limiting somatic growth and production of C. fluminea. Operation of the ESNT may have been working to benefit C. fluminea growth by increasing water availability from winter through early summer, a hypothesis that should be further investigated.

Print Copy LocationFreshw. Sci.