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Temperature and desiccation do not affect aggregation behaviour in high shore littorinids in north-east England

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Richard Stafford


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A large proportion of high shore littorinids are found in crevices or aggregations when emersed. It is generally considered that these behaviours are beneficial to littorinids by reducing desiccation stress, likelihood of dislodgement and threat of predation. Recent studies have shown that the selection of complex microhabitats, such as the formation of aggregations, is state-dependent in some species of high shore littorinids with more littorinids seeking complex microhabitats when conditions are warmer and more desiccating. This study, however, shows that the proportion of littorinids forming aggregations does not change with changes in temperature and evaporation rate. Differences between this and previous studies may be explained by littorinids in the current study living higher on the shore, with less frequent and less predictable foraging times.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stafford R, Davies MS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Negative Results: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Year: 2004

Volume: 1

Pages: 16-20

ISSN (electronic): 1459-4625