An Assessment of Suitable Feed Quantity and Quality for Riffleshell Mussels (Epioblasma spp.) Held in Captivity
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Seasonal utilization of protein by oyster mussel (E. capsaeformis) and rainbow mussel (V. iris) was examined with O:N ratios. Ratios were determined for mussels fed a low or high-protein diet (0.11, or 0.31 mg protein/mg dry algal feed), and for mussels held in a hatchery or in the Clinch River, in spring, summer, and winter. Significant differences in O:N ratios were not observed between mussels fed a low or high-protein diet (p > 0.05). The O:N ratios were significantly highest in spring and summer, and lowest in winter (p < 0.05). Mussels primarily utilized protein in spring and summer, and conserved protein in winter. A diet high in energy was suggested in spring and summer, and a diet high in protein was suggested in winter.
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