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Reproduction in four populations of brooding periwinkle (Littorina) at Ravenscar, North Yorkshire: adaptation to the local environment?

Hull, Susan L.; Grahame, John; Mill, Peter J.

Authors

Dr Sue Hull S.Hull@hull.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology and Ecology/ Programme Director, Marine Biology

John Grahame

Peter J. Mill



Abstract

The current study examines the reproductive patterns found within four ovoviviparous, brooding periwinkle populations on one shore in the north-east coast of England; the boulder dwelling populations Littorina saxatilis H (upper-shore form with thin shell and large aperture) and L. saxatilis M (mid-shore form with thick shell and small aperture), and the barnacle-dwelling L. saxatilis B (small form similar in morphology to L. saxatilis M) and L. neglecta. Littorina saxatilis H showed distinct seasonality in reproductive activity, unlike L. saxatilis M, and produced significantly larger eggs and embryos than the latter population. Littorina saxatilis M maintained a significantly higher weight-specific fecundity and reproductive activity throughout the year than L. saxatilis H and produced a larger number of small embryos.

The two barnacle-dwelling populations also showed distinct seasonality in reproductive activity and neither of the populations contained reproductively active females during the winter months. There was no significant difference in egg size between the two populations, but L. saxatilis B produced larger crawlaways than did L. neglecta. Even though L. saxatilis B was significantly larger in body and shell size, L. neglecta had a higher weight-specific fecundity than the former population. The possibility that the observed differences in egg and juvenile size, fecundity and seasonality between the four populations can be attributed to microscale adaptation to the local environment is discussed.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 1999-10
Journal Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Print ISSN 0025-3154
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 79
Issue 5
Pages 891-898
APA6 Citation Hull, S. L., Grahame, J., & Mill, P. J. (1999). Reproduction in four populations of brooding periwinkle (Littorina) at Ravenscar, North Yorkshire: adaptation to the local environment?. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK, 79(5), 891-898. doi:10.1017/s0025315499001058
DOI https://doi.org/10.1017/s0025315499001058
Keywords Aquatic Science