Bioenergetics of the Peruvian scallops (Argopecten purpuratus) in an environmental context limiting oxygen

Abstract : During the past two decades, the scallop (Argopecten Purpuratus) culture developed in the Peruvian coastal bays. The trophic availability linked to the upwelling system supports the production scallop. However, the Peruvian coasts are also known to have a high environmental variability especially in oceanic domain. Although scallop farms are vulnerable to production hazards (mortality, low growth), environmental variability in coastal bays of Peru and its effects on growth, reproduction and survival of this socially sensitive resource have been poorly studied. Paracas Bay in Pisco Peru is a traditional farming area where scallop highs and lows in productivity related to environmental conditions were recorded throughout its history. In order increase our knowledge on this issue, this study arises from three approaches : (1) observation in situ, (2) experimental physiology and (3) modelling of the energy budget of A. Purpuratus. An environmental monitoring conducted in the Paracas Bay shows that the oceanographic variability can be important, especially during the summer. Temperature variations of 8°C and oxic conditions ranging from supersaturation to anoxia (absence of oxygen) in the course of a day were observed. The high frequency monitoring has revealed a chronic, severe and prolonged hypoxic condition in Paracas Bay. Scallops grown on the bottom, where exposure to hypoxia was important (47% of the observed time) showed lower growth and reproductions conditions. However, during the summer, prolonged and severe hypoxic events affected both deep culture – scallops grown in suspension and on bottom- causing weight somatic tissue losses and cessation of reproduction. During the laboratory experiments, scallops showed significant ability to regulate their oxygen uptake face to decreased oxygen saturation up to 24%. Surprisingly, we found that this species is able to maintain filtration, although diminished, even at low oxygen saturations (5%). Based on the physiological responses of the Peruvian scallops face to hypoxia and the energy performance aerobic end anaerobic metabolism ; it is hypothesized that there exist a restriction in the energy flow available for metabolism at oxygen saturations below the regulation capacity of the organism. Model simulations including this energy restriction (on assimilation and reserves mobilization fluxes) against hypoxia can reproduce successfully field observations of Paracas Bay : greater exposure to hypoxia results in a reduced growth and reproductive conditions. Although the scallop has physiological adaptations/metabolism to deal with limited oxygen conditions, growth and reproduction can be compromised, affecting culture productivity of this species (according to the frequency, duration and intensity hypoxia). The results of observations, experiments and simulations obtained during this study provide useful information to better manage of Peruvian scallop cultures (ex. Load capacity estimates in the bays, evaluations of adequate areas/depths for culture, etc.).
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Arturo Aguirre-Velarde. Bioenergetics of the Peruvian scallops (Argopecten purpuratus) in an environmental context limiting oxygen. Earth Sciences. Université de Bretagne occidentale - Brest, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016BRES0123⟩. ⟨tel-01542077⟩

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