Native versus invasive crab effluent effects on byssal thread production in the mussel, Mytilus trossulus (Gould, 1950)
Mussels have evolved many adaptations to protect themselves, including the production of byssal threads. These are strong, proteinaceous fibres that mussels secrete to adhere themselves to rocks, preventing detachment by waves and predators. These byssal threads may be strengthened if mussels can recognize potential threats, such as native crabs, as their populations have a long history of coevolution. Unfortunately, the introduction of invasive predators poses a challenge for prey, which may not be capable of recognizing them. In this study, byssal thread production in the Pacific blue mussel (Mytilus trossulus ) was observed when exposed to effluent from the native red rock crab (Cancer productus) or the invasive European Green crab (Carcinus maenas). M. trossulus were placed in closed systems with effluent from either C. productus , C. maenas or control (no predator), over a 24-hour time period. Final measurements of number, length and diameter of byssal threads were recorded. M. trossulus exposed to effluent from C. productus produced byssal threads at a statistically significantly faster rate than in the control group over the first 7.5 hours. M. trossulus exposed to effluent from C. maenas produced byssal threads at a statistically significantly faster rate than both the C. productus and control groups. However, after 24 hours, there was no statistically significant difference between the mean number of byssal threads for any treatment. Additionally, we found no statistically significant difference between the mean diameter of byssal threads produced or length of byssal threads produced for any treatment.
Copyright (c) 2018 Rachel Rickaby
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors contributing to the Artbutus Review agree to release their articles under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 Unported license. This licence allows anyone to share their work (copy, distribute, transmit) and to adapt it for non-commercial purposes provided that appropriate attribution is given, and that in the event of reuse or distribution, the terms of this license are made clear.
Authors retain copyright of their work and grant the journal right of first publication.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.