In Potamocorbula amurensis time for development to the straight-hinge larval stage is 48 hr at 15??C. Potamocorbula amurensis settles at a shell length of approximately 135 ??m 17 to 19 days after fertilization. Our observations of timing of larval devdlopment in P. amurensis support the hypothesis of earlier workers that its route of initial introduction to San Francisco Bay was as veliger larvae transported in ballast water by trans-Pacific cargo ships. The length of the larval period of P. amurensis relative to water mass residence times in San Francisco Bay suggests that it is sufficient to allow substantial dispersal from North Bay to South Bay populations in concordance with previous observations that genetic differentiation among populations of P. amurensis in San Francisco Bay is low. Potamocorbula amurensis is markedly euryhaline at all stages of development. Spawning and fertilization can occur at salinities from 5 to 25 psu, and eggs and sperms can each tolerance at least a 10-psu step increase or decrease in salinity. Embryos that are 2 hr old can tolerate the same range of salinities from (10 to 30 psu), and by the time they are 24 hr old they can tolerate the same range of salinities (2 to 30 psu) that adult clams can. The ability of P. amurensis larvae to tolerate substantial step changes in salinity suggests a strong potential to survive incomplete oceanic exchanges of ballast water and subsequent discharge into receiving waters across a broad range of salinities.
Additional publication details
Spawning, fertilization, and larval development of Potamocorbula amurensis (Mollusca: Bivalvia) from San Francisco Bay, California