Latin american journal of aquatic research
On-line version ISSN 0718-560X
LODEIROS, César; FREITES, Luis; MAEDA-MARTINEZ, Alfonso and HIMMELMAN, John H. Influence of environmental factors on the growth of the juvenile, maturing juvenile, and adult tropical scallop, Euvola ziczac (Pteroida: Pectinidae), in suspended culture conditions. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res. [online]. 2012, vol.40, n.1, pp. 53-62. ISSN 0718-560X. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-560X2012000100006.
We carried out growth trials on three size groups of the scallop, Euvola ziczac, during two short-term (34-36 days) periods at 8, 21, and 34 m depth in Cariaco Gulf, Venezuela, in order to evaluate the effect of environmental factors on growth. Growth was greater in juveniles (initial size: 20-22 mm shell length) than in maturing juveniles (30-40 mm) and adults (70-75 mm). Somatic tissue growth was more than two-fold greater in juveniles than in maturing individuals. Adult scallops showed losses of tissue mass. The first period (December-January) covered the transition from a stratified water column to upwelling conditions, with initial high temperatures and low phytoplankton biomass followed by lower temperatures and greater phytoplankton biomass. The second period (February-March) consisted of upwelling, characterized by low temperatures and high phytoplankton production. The greater growth of juvenile and maturing scallops during the second period, particularly at 8 m depth, was associated with the greater availability of phytoplankton, related to coastal upwelling. The first development of gonads in maturing scallops only occurred in the second period, associated with food availability, and the degree of development was correlated with the depth. Our growth trials, which were too short to permit the negative impact of the development of fouling, showed that the growth of E. ziczac was enhanced in the presence of abundant phytoplankton biomass.
Keywords : growth; scallop; depth; coastal upwelling; Cariaco Gulf; Venezuela.