Individuals of the bivalve Spisula subtruncata were fed a mixed diet comprising of sea water enriched with the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum and ashed silt within a range of concentrations, simulating natural conditions above pseudofaeces threshold. The designed ranges for total particulate matter were between 10 and 30 mg l¿1and organic content of seston 15¿40%. Filtration rate, rejection rate, ingestion rate and absorption rate were measured at those different conditions. Filtration rate and rejection rate were significantly correlated to total particulate matter and percentage of organic matter, with higher rates at higher values of total particulate matter and lower values of percentage organic matter. Ingestion rate was maintained at similar levels in all the treatments and organic enrichment of the ingested food occurred due to preingestive selection of the filtered material. A differential absorption rate occurred at different levels of organic matter in the diet with high rates at high values of the organic content of the diet. S. subtruncata showed different physiological responses to changes of the food conditions: (1) Increase of pseudofaeces production at increasing levels of particulate matter, (2) preingestive selection of organic material which enriched the organic fraction of ingested food, (3) stabilized ingestion rate and (4) increase of the absorption rate at high organic levels of the seston
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