Growth and sexual maturity of the northern propellerclam (Cyrtodaria siliqua) in Eastern Canada, with bomb radiocarbon age validation

TitleGrowth and sexual maturity of the northern propellerclam (Cyrtodaria siliqua) in Eastern Canada, with bomb radiocarbon age validation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsKilada, RW, Campana, SE, Roddick, D
JournalMarine Biology
Volume156
Issue5
Pagination1029-1037
ISSN0025-3162
Abstract

The northern propellerclam Cyrtodaria siliqua is a common bycatch in the Arctic surfclam, Mactromeris polynyma fishery on Banquereau Bank in Eastern Canada. Samples of the propellerclam from this exploited fishery were used to determine the life history characteristics of the population. The age structure of the population is dominated by old animals to ages exceeding 100 years. We validated the age estimates for the propellerclam through analysis of bomb-produced radiocarbon in the shell growth increments deposited before, during and after the atmospheric atomic bomb testing periods of the 1950s and 1960s. Radiocarbon from shells with presumed birth dates between the late 1950s and 1970s clearly reflected the sharp increase in oceanic radiocarbon attributable to previous nuclear testing, indicating that age estimates based on shell increment counts are accurate. Estimates of von Bertalanffy growth parameters revealed that the growth rate of the population was relatively rapid for the first 20 years of life, slowing down to very low growth rates thereafter. Sexual maturity was estimated as being reached at 28.6 mm in length and 4.7 years in age. Size-weight morphometric relationships were also calculated.

DOI10.1007/s00227-009-1146-9