Journal Article

The pelagic life of the pectinid <i>Pecten maximus</i>—a review

M Le Pennec, A Paugam and G Le Pennec

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 60, issue 2, pages 211-233
Published in print January 2003 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2003 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
The pelagic life of the pectinid Pecten maximus—a review

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  • Environmental Science
  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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Although marine bivalves go through a planktonic larval phase, knowledge of this phase is often poor because of the difficulty in identifying and monitoring the activity of these tiny organisms within the water mass. Some bivalves have been studied more than others, often because of their economic value. These species can serve as a model for improving our understanding of the circumstances of planktonic larval development, in particular by assessing its impact on recruitment. This review is aimed at summarizing the knowledge on the pelagic life of Pecten maximus acquired by research in France over the last 25 years. The comparison of these results with those obtained elsewhere for pectinid species, indicates certain characteristics that appear to be fairly common to all coastal infralittoral pectinids. Regardless of species, pelagic life of pectinids starts with the release of gametes, followed by fertilization and embryonic and larval stages until metamorphosis and recruitment to the benthic community. After consideration of the main characteristics of the pelagic stages and their sensitivity to certain environmental factors, a graphic synthesis is provided displaying their migratory behaviour and the possible consequences for recruitment.

Keywords: pelagic life; larval characteristics; Pecten maximus; pectinids; hatcheries

Journal Article.  7804 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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