Environmental controls on shell growth rates and δ18O of the shallow-marine bivalve mollusk Phacosoma japonicum in Japan

B. R. Schöne, K. Tanabe, D. L. Dettman, S. Sato

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    120 Citations (Scopus)


    Microgrowth patterns and the oxygen isotope composition of juvenile, shallow-marine bivalve mollusk shells of Phacosoma japonicum (Reeve) in Japan were analyzed and cross-calibrated with environmental parameters. Mark-and-recovery experiments indicate that a pair of two microgrowth lines and two microgrowth increments is produced every lunar day. This finding makes it possible to assign exact calendar dates to each portion of the shell. Average daily growth rates decrease by 61% from age two to three and 55% from age three to four. The length of the growing season and the growth rate are mainly controlled by temperature: shell growth ceases below 14.2°C (age two) and 16.8°C (age four) and is most rapid between 24.6°C and 27.2°C. Based on local temperature cycles, the growing season is longest in Seto Inland Sea, central Honshu (from May to November) and shortest at Hakodate Bay, North Japan (from June to October). The annual oxygen isotope profiles of the shells reflect the temperature cycle and the varying amounts of freshwater added to the seawater by precipitation. The most negative δ18O values of -3.15‰ occur during the rainy season, i.e. during the monsoon and typhoon seasons. Growth rates are only slightly affected by salinity changes. Strongly reduced growth rates during the second half of the year at Seto Inland Sea and to a lesser extent at Tokyo Bay are explained by nutrient deprivation. Our study provides the basis for the use of P. japonicum in high-resolution ecological studies and environmental reconstructions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)473-485
    Number of pages13
    JournalMarine Biology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2003 Mar 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Aquatic Science
    • Ecology


    Dive into the research topics of 'Environmental controls on shell growth rates and δ18O of the shallow-marine bivalve mollusk Phacosoma japonicum in Japan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this