Species Profiles. Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Fishes and Invertebrates (Mid-Atlantic). HARD CLAM.
MAINE COOPERATIVE FISHERY RESEARCH UNIT ORONO
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Species profiles are literature summaries on the taxonomy, morphology, range, life history, and environmental requirements of coastal aquatic species. These are designed to assist in environmental impact assessment. The hard clam Mercenaria mercenaria is the most extensively distributed commercial clam in the United States. They spawn offshore in summer when water temperatures are between 18 C and 30 C. The eggs and larvae are carried by currents into estuaries, where seed clams set on sand or pebbles. Seed clams that lack cover of shells or stone largely perish because of predation. Adults filter-feed on phytoplankton and particulate material. Adults survive temperatures of -6 C to 30 C and salinities of 10 to 35 ppt, and can withstand freshwater for several days by closing their shell. When the shell is closed, they must tolerate anoxic conditions, and they survive less than 1 mg1 oxygen in the water for several days. Even the larvae tolerate 0.5 mgl of oxygen. Author
- Biological Oceanography