We compared lifetime and population energy budgets of the extraordinary long-lived ocean quahog Arctica islandica from 6 different sites—the Norwegian coast, Kattegat, Kiel Bay, White Sea, German Bight, and off northeast Iceland—covering a temperature and salinity gradient of 4-10°C (annual mean) and 25–34, respectively. Based on von Bertalanffy growth models and size—mass relationships, we computed organic matter production of body (PSB) and of shell (Pss), whereas gonad production (PG) was estimated from the seasonal cycle in mass. Respiration (R) was computed by a model driven by body mass, temperature, and site. A. islandica populations differed distinctly in maximum life span (40 y in Kiel Bay to 197 y in Iceland), but less in growth performance (φ;′ ranged from 2.41 in the White Sea to 2.65 in Kattegat). Individual lifetime energy throughput, as approximated by assimilation, was highest in Iceland (43,730 kJ) and lowest in the White Sea (313 kJ). Net growth efficiency ranged between 0.251 and 0.348, whereas lifetime energy investment distinctly shifted from somatic to gonad production with increasing life span; Ps/PG decreased from 0.362 (Kiel Bay, 40 y) to 0.031 (Iceland, 197 y). Population annual energy budgets were derived from individual budgets and estimates of population mortality rate (0.035/y in Iceland to 0.173/y in Kiel Bay). Relationships between budget ratios were similar on the population level, albeit with more emphasis on somatic production; PS/ Pa ranged from 0.196 (Iceland) to 2.728 (White Sea), and P/B ranged from 0.203–0.285/y. Life span is the principal determinant of the relationship between budget parameters, whereas temperature affects net growth efficiency only. In the White Sea population, both growth performance and net growth efficiency of A. islandica were lowest. We presume that low temperature combined with low salinity represent a particularly stressful environment for this species.
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Vol. 29 • No. 1