Growth characteristics and distribution pattern of a brackish water clam, Corbicula japonica along an estuarine salinity gradient in Seomjin River

섬진강 하구역에서 염분구배에 따른 일본재첩의 분포와 성장특성

  • Received : 2015.09.03
  • Accepted : 2015.10.08
  • Published : 2015.10.31


The purpose of this study was to determine the growth characteristics and distribution pattern of a brackish water clam Corbicula japonica in Seomjin River. Field samples were taken from 14 stations with salinity gradients during spring. Salinity at the bottom layer ranged from 1.0 psu to 32.9 psu, with low salinities in the upper area of the river. In particular, salinity at St.11 was decreased drastically to be ca. 15.0 psu, indicating an intermediate salinity zone. The distribution pattern of C. japonica was related to the salinity gradient, with the highest densities of $2,102ind.m^{-2}$ at Station 13, followed by $1,507ind.m^{-2}$ at Station 11. Here, we focused on the growth characteristics of collected C. japonica collected at two stations with different salinity values. The relationship between shell length and total weight was highly correlated ($R^2=0.91$, P<0.001) at Station 13 compared to that at Station 11 ($R^2=0.72$, P<0.001). On the other hands, the degree of correlation between shell length and shell height (SH) or shell width (SW) at Station 11 (SH: $R^2=0.91$, P<0.001; SW: $R^2=0.69$, P<0.001) was higher than that at Station 13 (SH: $R^2=0.64$, P<0.001; SW: $R^2=0.48$, P<0.001). In addition, fatness index of C. japonica at Station 13 was significantly (P < 0.001) higher than that at St. 11 (t-test value=-22.8, p<0.001). This implies that C. japonica at Station 13 might have enhanced their somatic growth, whereas C. japonica at Station 11 might have this kind of defense mechanism their internal organization against the salinity stress. Ecologically, this kind of defense mechanism of C. japonica against salinity flucuation may play an important role in their survival strategy.


Corbicula japonica;salinity gradient;growth characteristics;Seomjin River


  1. J.B. Lee, Y.J. Shin, J.H. Lee, Y.M. Choi, D.W. Lee, H.K. Cha "Estimation of potential fishery yield for Corbicula Japonica in the Seomjin River, Korea" Korean J. Malacol. 28, 91-99, 2012. DOI:
  2. W.K. Kim, C.S. Lee, J.Y. Lee, K.K. Baik, S.B. Kim "Environmental factors and population density of brackish water clam, Corbicula japonica on Namdae Stream in Yangyang, Gangwon." J. Aquaculture 15, 1-6, 2002.
  3. D.K. Ryu, E.Y. Chung, Y.H. Kim "Age and growth of the brackish water clam, Corbicula japonica Prime on the west coast of Korea." Korean J. Malacol. 21, 57-64, 2005.
  4. R.F. Dame "Ecologu of marine bivalves: An ecosystem approach." CRC Press, Boca Raton. pp 254, 1996. DOI:
  5. C.S. Kim, J.-E. An, J.-D. Choi, D.-K, Ryu "Age and growth of the Gomphina (Macridiscus) veneriformis (Lamarck, 1818) in the Wonsan coast of East Sea." Korean J. Malacol. 30,, 33-40, 2014. DOI:
  6. J.Y. Jung, "Ecological studies of brackish water clam, Corbicula japonica Prime from Nag Dong river" National Freshwater Fish Hatchery of Fisheries of Choeng-pyong 2, 130-140, 1997.
  7. M. J. Min, S. Y. Ha, M.H. Chung, B.H. Choi, Y.J. Lee, S.H. Youn, W.D. Yoon, J.S. Lee, K.H. Shin, " Seasonal variation of primary productivity and pigment of phytoplankton community structure in the Seomjin Estuary." Korean J. Limnol., 45, 139-149, 2012.
  8. S.W Bae, D.S. Kim, H.-W. Choi, Y.O. Kim, C.H. Moon, S.H. Baek, "The influence of nutrients addition on phytoplankton communities between spring and summer season in Gwangyang Bay, Korea." The Sea 19, 53-65. 2014. DOI:
  9. W. Wasmunds, A. Andrushaitis, E.L. Pastuszak, B.M Karulis, G. Nausch, T. Neumann, H. Ojaveer, I. Olenina, L. Postel, Z. Wit다. " Trophic status of the south-eastern Baltic Sea: a comparison of coastal and open areas." Estuarine, Coast Shelf Sci., 53, 849-864, 2001. DOI:

Cited by

  1. Tidal Influences on Biotic and Abiotic Factors in the Seomjin River Estuary and Gwangyang Bay, Korea vol.41, pp.7, 2018,


Grant : 섬진강하구관리를 위한 환경변화연구

Supported by : 한국해양과학기술원