Sclerochronology and analysis of oxygen isotopes reveal the age, growth rate and growth patterns of Chione (Chionista) cortezi and Chione (Chionista) fluctifraga. Chione (C.) cortezi grows more quickly than Chione (C.) fluctifraga, but has a shorter life span (8 years versus 16 years). Microgrowth increments form with tidal periodicity and their width is mostly influenced by temperature. Microincrement patterns reveal that maximum growth occurs from April to June and again in October. Growth is reduced during the hottest part of the summer and the coldest part of the winter. Growth breaks often occur in December/January and August. Timing of shell growth and environmental conditions were verified by high-resolution oxygen isotope measurements.
Keywords: sclerochronology, age, growth, Chione, d18O
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