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Oxygen consumption during digestion in Anodonta anatina and Unio pictorum in response to algal concentrationAbstract The metabolic activity of unionid mussels influences the oxygen fluxes and other physical and chemical characteristics in aquatic systems. Unionid oxygen consumption rate during digestion and its dependency on food availability is understudied. In laboratory conditions, we quantified the oxygen consumption rate of Anodonta anatina and Unio pictorum in response to algal concentration—0.05, 6.0 and 12.0 mg of Ash Free Dry Mass of Chlorella vulgaris L-1 —and mussel dry soft-tissue mass at 19 ± 1C. Following a 5-h feeding-period, the oxygen consumption rate (mg O2 h-1 ) increased with algal concentration and mussel dry mass in both species during a 2-h digestion-period. The mean oxygen consumption per gram of dry mass (mg O2 gDM-1 h-1 ) increased with the algal concentration in both species. The oxygen consumption rate of A. anatina was significantly greater than that of U. pictorum at a given algal concentration. The A. anatina oxygen consumption per gram of dry mass decreased with increasing dry mass. Oxygen consumption rate during digestion shows inter-specific differences and is dependent on food availability. The findings inform the species specific quantification of oxygen consumption, and validation is required in in situ conditions.