Feeding behavior of the invasive bivalve Limnoperna fortunei (Dunker, 1857) under exposure to toxic cyanobacteria Microcystis aeruginosa

Comportamento alimentar do bivalve invasor Limnoperna fortunei (Dunker, 1857) em exposição à cianobactéria tóxica Microcystis aeruginosa

V Gazulha MCD Mansur LF Cybis SMFO Azevedo About the authors

The aim of this study was to test the effects of cyanobacteria toxicity on feeding behavior of the golden mussel Limnoperna fortunei. First, it was tested the hypothesis that L. fortunei preferentially graze on non-toxic phytoplankton and reject toxic cyanobacteria. Second, it was tested the hypothesis that toxic cyanobacteria negatively affect feeding and survival of L. fortunei. The present study is the first to evaluate the effects of toxic cyanobacteria on L. fortunei feeding and survival. In the short-term grazing, golden mussel filtration rates were evaluated in the presence of toxic and non-toxic strains of cyanobacteria Microcystis aeruginosa, and non-toxic phytoplankton Nitzschia palea. Highest filtration rates were registered when mussels fed on Nitzschia. Despite that, golden mussel expelled Nitzschia cells in large quantities and preferentially ingested Microcystis cells, both toxic and non-toxic strains. In the long-term grazing, mussels were exposed to toxic and non-toxic strains of Microcystis during 5 days. Filtration rates were not significantly different for toxic and non-toxic Microcystis throughout exposure period. The results have demonstrated cyanobacteria toxicity is not the main factor influencing L. fortunei feeding behavior. Survival of L. fortunei feeding on toxic cyanobacteria shows the potential of this invasive bivalve as a vector to the transference of cyanotoxins to higher trophic levels.

golden mussel; filtration rates; exotic species; microcystin


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