Shell-length growth in Macoma balthica from San Francisco Bay, California, as measured on living animals in situ, is highly seasonal despite a mild Mediterranean climate: a long period of near non-growth from May to the following February is followed by a short period of rapid growth between March and May. The rapid-growth period follows the spawning period during January/February and ends as water temperature rises above about 15??C. Despite the shortness of the growth period, M. balthica grows larger at a given age in San Francisco Bay than is recorded elsewhere in the world. Application of a model, developed elsewhere from these same field measurements, shows that (1) measurable growth occurs during the summer/autumn/early winter "nongrowth" period, (2) there is an autumn recruitment, and (3) both spring and autumn recruits combine to form a single "one-year-old" size grouping. None of these features is detectable through growth-ring analysis of field samples, apparently because of indistinct climatic seasons, or through size-frequency histogram analysis because of the combined effects of slow growth and intermittent recruitment. ?? 1982 Estuarine Research Federation.
Additional publication details
Seasonal growth in the bivalve Macoma balthica near the southern limit of its range