Flash Flood simulation and valve behavior of Mytilus galloprovincialis measured with Hall sensors



Addis P, Angioni A, Pasquini V, Giglioli A, Andreotti V, Carboni S & Secci M (2021) Flash Flood simulation and valve behavior of Mytilus galloprovincialis measured with Hall sensors. Integrative Zoology, 16 (2), pp. 138-148.

Mussels close their shell as a protective strategy and the quantification of this behavioral marker may represent an alarm signal when they are exposed to environmental stressors. In the present study, we investigated the ability of the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis to recover and then the resilience or inertia of valve activity after a pulsing exposition to diverse levels of salinity (5, 10, 20 and 35 PSU as reference value). The trial simulated an event of drastic and sudden reduction of seawater salinity thus mimicking an event of Flash Flood from intense rain. Valve gaping and movements were measured in continuous cycle for ten days using a customized magneto-electric device which uses Hall sensors. Results showed that under normal conditions of salinity (35 PSU) the general pattern of valve movements was a continuously open state with sporadic spikes indicating a closing motion. At salinity of 5 PSU mussels reacted by closing their valves, leading to a 77% mortality on the fourth day. At salinity of 10 PSU animals were observed with closed valves for the entire duration of the exposure and no mortality occurred, they showed a significant reduction in the valve activity once the reference value of salinity was re-established. In contrast, salinity of 20 PSU did not trigger a significant behavioral response. Interestingly, there no define rhythms of valve movements were recorded during salinity challenges.

Mussels; Mytilus galloprovincialis; Valve activity; Hall sensor; Salinity Specialty: Marine Biology; Ecology; Behavior

Integrative Zoology: Volume 16, Issue 2

Publication date31/03/2021
Publication date online09/07/2020
Date accepted by journal02/07/2020

People (1)


Dr Stefano Carboni
Dr Stefano Carboni

Aquatic Invertebrate Zoologist, Institute of Aquaculture