Sodium sulfate impacts feeding, specific dynamic action, and growth rate in the freshwater bivalve Corbicula fluminea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sodium sulfate is a ubiquitous salt that reaches toxic concentrations due to mining and other industrial activities, yet is currently unregulated at the Federal level in the United States. Previous studies have documented reduced growth of clams downstream of sulfate-dominated effluents, altered bioenergetics in filter-feeding invertebrates, and interactions between sulfate and other toxicants. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if sodium sulfate affects the bioenergetics of the filter-feeding, freshwater bivalve, Corbicula fluminea, and the mechanism by which the effects are elicited. In addition to measuring effects on feeding, respiration and growth rates, I evaluated the relative sensitivity of a green algae consumed by clams to determine if top-down or bottom-up effects might be exhibited under field conditions. This study demonstrated that sodium sulfate had no effect on basal metabolic rates, but significantly reduced the feeding, post-feeding metabolic, and growth rates of C. fluminea. The proposed mechanism for these impacts is that filtering rates are reduced upon exposure, resulting in reduced food consumption and therefore, preventing increased metabolic rates normally associated with post-feeding specific dynamic action (SDA). In the field, these effects may cause changes in whole stream respiration rates and organic matter dynamics, as well as alter uptake rates of other food-associated contaminants like selenium, the toxicity of which is known to be antagonized by sulfate, in filter-feeding bivalves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007


  • Corbicula fluminea
  • Filter-feeding
  • Metabolic rates
  • Sodium sulfate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Sodium sulfate impacts feeding, specific dynamic action, and growth rate in the freshwater bivalve Corbicula fluminea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this