Bivalves rapidly repair shells damaged by fatigue and bolster strength

Published: 29 September 2021| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/hphn2m6r27.1
Rachel Crane


Mollusk shells defend against repeated traumas and have the capacity to repair and respond to this damage. Using the California mussel, Mytilus californianus, as a model system, we investigated mussel's ability to repair after experiencing repeated compressive loads. Specifically, we compressed mussels for 15 cycles and allowed them 0, 1, 2, or 4 weeks to recover. After the recovery duration, we either measured the shell's strength or inspected it using light and fluorescence microscopy for evidence of fracture and repair. We compared the fatigued shells with a group of non-experimentally-fatigued control shells. The results of these experiments are documented in Craneetal_2021_Mussel.csv, which provides metadata about each mussel, the fatigue treatment, and its final strength; Craneetal_2021_FatigueCycles.csv, which reports summary data from the initial fatigue treatment; and Craneetal_2021_MicroscopySummary.csv, which summarized the microscopy results. Further details of the contents and organization of each spreadsheet are reported in the respective README files. The R code to recreate all figures and analyses in the associated manuscript is included as well: Craneetal_2021_AnalysesandFigures.R



Stanford University


Biomechanics, Bivalvia, Fracture, Mechanical Strength, Fatigue Damage