BIOTIC Species Information for Nucula nitidosa
|Researched by||Lizzie Tyler||Data supplied by||University of Sheffield|
|Refereed by||This information is not refereed.|
|Scientific name||Nucula nitidosa||Common name||Bivalve mollusc|
|MCS Code||W1569||Recent Synonyms||Nucula turgida (Leckenby & Marshall, 1875), Nucula moorei (Winckworth, 1931).|
|Additional Information||No text entered|
|Taxonomy References||Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Tebble, 1976, Howson & Picton, 1997,|
||Feeding method||Surface deposit feeder
Sub-surface deposit feeder
|Typical food types||Microzooplankton, organic and inorganic particles and microbes.||Habit||Free living|
|Bioturbator||Flexibility||None (< 10 degrees)|
|Height||Insufficient information||Growth Rate||See additional information|
|Adult dispersal potential||100-1000m||Dependency||Independent|
|General Biology Additional Information||Protobranchs
Nucula nitidosa is a protobranch, a primitive form of bivalve that lacks the extensive gills typical of most bivalves and is, therefore, an obligate deposit feeder (Davis & Wilson, 1985).
It was reported that Nucula nitidosa was also able to feed from inhaled suspensions (Caspers, 1940; cited in Rachor, 1976). This filter feeding ability was demonstrated but shown to be of little importance for Nucula nitidosa (Trevallion, 1965; cited in Rachor, 1976). Nucula nitidosa may assist in the incorporation of organic material into the ecosystem in two ways. Firstly Nucula nitidosa may eat the organic matter present and convert it into flesh, providing food for predators such as flatfish (Blegvad, 1928; cited in Davis & Wilson, 1985). Secondly, Nucula nitidosa may alter the character of the organic matter, for example by producing faeces.
Biomass and Production
Supports which species
|Biology References||Tebble, 1976, Davis & Wilson, 1985, Rachor, 1976, Rachor & Salzwedel, 1976, Petersen, 1977, Yonge, 1939, Davis & Wilson, 1983b, Allen, 1953b, Edwards, 1965, Ford, 1925, Allen, 1954, Ruppert & Barnes, 1994, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Julie Bremner, unpub data,|
|Distribution and Habitat|
|Distribution in Britain & Ireland||Occurs on all British coasts where the substratum is suitable.|
|Global distribution||Distributed from Norway, south to the Mediterranean and West Africa.|
|Biogeographic range||Not researched||Depth range||0 - 100 m|
|Migratory||Non-migratory / Resident|
|Distribution Additional Information|
|Substratum preferences||Fine clean sand
|Physiographic preferences||Open coast
|Biological zone||Lower Eulittoral
|Tidal stream strength/Water flow||Moderately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
|Salinity||Full (30-40 psu)
|Habitat Preferences Additional Information|
|Distribution References||Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Tebble, 1976, Seaward, 1982, Rachor, 1976, NBN, 2002, Picton & Costello, 1998, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Julie Bremner, unpub data,|
|Reproductive Season||Autumn||Reproductive Location||Insufficient information|
|Reproductive frequency||Annual protracted||Regeneration potential||No|
|Life span||6-10 years||Age at reproductive maturity||1-2 years|
|Generation time||See additional information||Fecundity|
|Egg/propagule size||120 µm diameter||Fertilization type||Insufficient information|
|Reproduction Preferences Additional Information||Sexual maturity
In a population of Nucula nitidosa in Dublin Bay most individuals became sexually mature in their second year (Davis & Wilson, 1983b).
Trevallion (1965; cited in Rachor, 1976) reported that in UK waters, Nucula nitidosa matures from spring to summer and spawns in autumn. No winter spawning was observed. However, according to Allen (1953b, 1954) reproduction during winter is probable in British waters. In Dublin Bay, Davis & Wilson (1985) reported that the gametes of Nucula nitidosa were ripening during June and August. In mid September one single spawning event was reported when over 90% of the sexually mature population spawned (Wilson & Davis, 1938b). It was also suggested that low level spawning may commence in July (Davis & Wilson, 1983a). Davis & Wilson (1938a) suggest the reason for the differences in different populations of Nucula nitidosa is uncertain but may be due to intraspecific differences.
Nucula nitidosa produces unusually large eggs with a high lipid content for a bivalve, which helps to sustain the leicthotrophic development of the larvae (Wilson, 1992). Lebour (1938) reported that the length of Nucula nitidosa eggs was about 90 µm. Whereas Rachor (1976) and Davis & Wilson (1983a) reported that the size of Nucula nitidosa eggs ranged from 100-150 µm
Survival of larvae
Wilson (1992) estimated that for a population of Nucula nitidosa spawning, effort would be around 1.1 million potential recruits annually and that survivorship from a juvenile state to appearance in the adult population would be just 1 in 10,000.
Nucula nitidosa were thought to have a life-span of over 20 years (Allen, 1953b). But subsequent studies on population structure and productivity in the German Bight suggested a life -span of 12 years (Rachor, 1976), and in Dublin Bay, a life-span of 5-7 years was reported (Davis & Wilson, 1983b, 1985), which suggested a more normal life-span of some 7-10 years (Wilson, 1992).
Rachor (1976) reported that the mortality rate of Nucula nitidosa was very uncertain. A population of Nucula nitidosa was studied in Dublin Bay. Low larval and adult mortality rates were reported for several years, which was followed by high mortality when adults reached old age (Davis & Wilson, 1983b).
|Reproduction References||Lebour, 1938, Davis & Wilson, 1985, Rachor, 1976, Wilson, 1992, Davis & Wilson, 1983b, Davis & Wilson, 1983a, Allen, 1953b, Allen, 1954, Julie Bremner, unpub data,|