Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. 48(3): 459-469


Relationship between energy allocation and gametogenesis in Aulacomya atra (Bivalvia: Mytilidae) in a sub-Antarctic environment

Analía F. Pérez1, Claudia C. Boy2, Jessica Curelovich1, Patricia Pérez-Barros1 and Javier A. Calcagno1

1Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)-Centro de Estudios Biomédicos, Biotecnológicos, Ambientales y de Diagnóstico, Instituto Superior de Investigaciones, Universidad Maimónides, Hidalgo 775 (1405), Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina
2Centro Austral de Investigaciones Científicas (CADIC-CONICET), Bernardo Houssay 200, V9410BFD Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

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Gametogenesis and temporal variation in energy allocation to different organs were analyzed in Aulacomya atra from the Beagle Channel (Tierra del Fuego, Argentina). Our results show that A. atra presents an extended spawning period from late winter to spring when the lowest value of mantle-gonad index (MGI) and maximum number of spawned individuals were observed. The MGI in mature males increased as the energy density of the mantle-gonad (EDMG) decreased, indicating an increase in mass of lower energy values. In contrast, the MGI in mature females increased as EDMG increased, indicating an increase in mass of higher energy values. Consequently, males and females reached a similar energy content of the mantle-gonad (ECMG) by means of different strategies: males have gonads of larger size but with lower energy by unit of mass than females. Besides, we observed a decrease in the digestive gland index (DGI) in concordance with an increase in the MGI of mature individuals, and a trend towards the depletion of ED and EC in the digestive gland during gonadal maturation. Our results evidence the role of the digestive gland as an energy reservoir and a different energy allocation strategy between sexes during gonadal maturation.

Key words:  Energetics, calorimetry, reproduction, bivalve, Beagle Channel, Aulacomya atra