Seasonally resolved growth of freshwater bivalves determined by oxygen and carbon isotope shell chemistry
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By means of a monitoring experiment in two rivers in the Netherlands, we establish a relationship between seasonally resolved growth rates in unionid freshwater bivalves and their environment. We reconstructed these seasonally resolved growth rates by using relationships of stable isotopes in the shells and their ambient river water. The reconstructed growth rates reveal that shells grow fastest in spring-early summer, when highest food availability occurs in the rivers. In addition, the reconstructed growth rates show that onset and cessation of growth are mainly influenced by water temperature.