Scientia Marina, Vol 80, No 1 (2016)

Potential food sources of Glycymeris nummaria (Mollusca: Bivalvia) during the annual cycle indicated by fatty acid analysis

Mirjana Najdek
Institute “Ruđer Bošković”, Centre for Marine Research , Croatia

Daria Ezgeta-Balić
Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries , Croatia

Maria Blažina
Institute “Ruđer Bošković”, Centre for Marine Research , Croatia

Marija Crnčević
Public Institution for the Management of Protected Natural Values in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County , Croatia

Melita Peharda
Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries , Croatia


Seasonal changes of food sources were investigated by analysing the fatty acid profiles of digestive gland and muscle tissues of the naturally occurring clams Glycymeris nummaria in Mali Ston Bay, Croatia. Total lipids in the digestive gland and the adductor muscle showed parallel changes, with a maximum after the main spawning event in September. In the digestive gland saturated fatty acids were highly dominant (up to 82%), indicating detritus as the main food source for this species. This type of food prevailed during the autumn/winter period, in contrast to the spring/summer period when detritus was enriched with phyto- and, to a lesser extent, zooplankton. Fatty acid composition of muscles indicated highly efficient utilization of ingested food through significant retention of polyunsaturated fatty acid from the clams’ diet during the entire period investigated.


feeding ecology; bivalve; Glycymerididae; Adriatic Sea; Mali Ston

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