Scallop swimming kinematics and muscle performance: modelling the effects of "within-animal" variation in temperature sensitivity

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Bailey, D.M. ; Johnstone, I.A. (2005)

Escape behaviour was investigated in Queen scallops (Aequipecten opercularis) acclimated to 5, 10 or 15 degrees C and tested at their acclimation temperature. Scallops are active molluscs, able to escape from predators by jet-propelled swimming using a striated muscle working in opposition to an elastic hinge ligament. The first cycle of the escape response was recorded using high-speed video ( 250 Hz) and whole-animal velocity and acceleration determined. Muscle shortening velocity, force and power output were calculated using measurements of valve movement and jet area, and a simple biomechanical model. The average shortening speed of the adductor muscle had a Q(10) of 2.04, significantly reducing the duration of the jetting phase of the cycle with increased temperature. Muscle lengthening velocity and the overall duration of the clap cycle were changed little over the range 5 - 15 degrees C, as these parameters were controlled by the relatively temperature-insensitive, hinge ligament. Improvements in the average power output of the adductor muscle over the first clap cycle ( 222 vs. 139 W kg(-1) wet mass at 15 and 5 degrees C respectively) were not translated into proportional increases in overall swimming velocity, which was only 32% higher at 15 degrees C ( 0.37m s(-1)) than 5 degrees C (0.28 m s(-1)).
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