Ontogenetic and temperature-dependent changes in tolerance to hypoxia and hydrogen sulfide during the early life stages of the Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum

Mar Environ Res. 2018 Jun:137:177-187. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2017.12.019. Epub 2018 Jan 2.


Wind-induced upwelling of hypoxic waters containing hydrogen sulfide (H2S) sometimes causes mass mortalities of aquatic organisms inhabiting coastal areas, including the hypoxia-tolerant Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum. We examined the tolerance of Manila clam to H2S under controlled laboratory conditions. Larvae and juveniles obtained by artificial fertilization or from a wild population were exposed to normoxic or to hypoxic water with or without un-ionized H2S (concentrations, 0.2-52.2 mg/L). Twenty-four-hour exposure experiments revealed ontogenetic changes in the clam's tolerance to H2S exposure: tolerance was enhanced from the larval stages to juveniles just after settlement but was attenuated as juveniles grew. Tolerance of larvae and juveniles to H2S exposure weakened as the water temperature rose from 20 to 28 °C. Prolonged 48-h exposure to H2S attenuated the tolerance of juveniles to H2S. Temporary suspension of H2S exposure by 24-h reoxygenation improved the ability of juveniles to withstand repeated H2S exposure.

Keywords: Anoxia; Benthos; Bivalve; Body size; Coastal ecosystem; Early life history; Eutrophication; Hydrogen sulfide; Hypoxia; Water temperature.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Bivalvia / physiology*
  • Eutrophication
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / toxicity*
  • Hypoxia
  • Larva
  • Temperature*


  • Hydrogen Sulfide