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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 235416, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/235416
Research Article

Habitat Preferences and Growth of Ruditapes bruguieri (Bivalvia: Veneridae) at the Northern Boundary of Its Range

A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok 690059, Russia

Received 30 August 2013; Accepted 27 October 2013; Published 16 January 2014

Academic Editors: T. Klefoth and Y.-T. Qiu

Copyright © 2014 Alla V. Silina. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This work is the first attempt to study growth and some morphological parameters of the clam Ruditapes bruguieri, as well as its habitat preferences. It is found that R. bruguieri lives on bottom sediments including pebble and coarse- and medium-grained sand with a slight admixture of silt. At the study area, this bivalve inhabits sea waters with good aeration, stable oceanic water salinity, and a high oxygen concentration. The annual fluctuations of the water temperature from 13-14°C (in winter) to 22–29°C (in summer) are close to the threshold temperature values, within which the species can exist. Near the boundary of the species range, along the Jeju Island coasts, south of Republic of Korea, 83.8% of all clams die during the coldest period of the year. Here, annual rings are formed on R. bruguieri shells during winter. The maximum age of R. bruguieri, determined during the study, is 6.5 years, but the clam samples contain mainly individuals at 3.0–3.5 years of age (34%). The largest clam dimensions are 36.0 × 26.5 mm (length × height of shell). At the study area, a usual shell length is 20.0–32.0 mm (75% of all the collected individuals).