Bivalvia Through Reptilia by T. J. Pandian

By T. J. Pandian

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Each species also shows an increase in regulatory ability with increasing body size (Bayne, 1973b; Newell, 1979). The relationship between burrowing depths and regulatory ability in bivalves from intertidal sand flats in Dublin Bay has been investigated by McMahon and Wilson (1981). Oxygen concentrations in the surface water films on these sand flats may exceed saturation levels during tidal exposure, but fall to 1 0 - 2 5 % at 2 cm depth and 5 - 7 % at 5 cm. Three bivalves occur sympatrically on the sand flats.

A system of this type is described by Famme et a/. (1981) and provides an exciting new tool for the investigation of respiratory processes under reduced oxygen tension. B. Effects of Body Size Relationships between body size (usually given as dry flesh weight, but sometimes as shell length) and metabolic rate (in units of either oxygen consumption or energy) are normally given in the form of the allometric equation Y = a-Xb, where Y = metabolic rate and X = individual size or weight. The intercept (a) is a measure of the metabolic rate of an individual of unit weight (or length).

As a result the O : N ratio fell at higher temperatures, reflecting the increased reliance on protein catabolism. The utilization of protein reserves under stress condi­ tions is further confirmed by the work of Bayne and Thompson (1970), who subjected M. edulis to starvation under different temperature regimes and found that protein reserves were utilized much more rapidly at higher tem­ peratures (16°C) than at low ones (6°C). D. Salinity Bivalve molluscs are osmoconformers and regulate cell volume by adjust­ ing the concentrations of intracellular amino acids and other small organic molecules.

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