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Microhabitat selection in tropical high shore Littorinids

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Richard Stafford


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In Hong Kong, the high shore littorinids Nodilittorina trochoides and Nodilittorina radiata have contagious distributions over small spatial scales (several centimetres). This presentation explores the role of surface topography in shaping these distributions. High numbers (up to 99%) of littorinids are found aggregating in microhabitats such as cracks and crevices which only occupy around 5 to 10 % of the total area. Temperature and desiccation stress are reduced in these microhabitats, and littorinids occupying them have a higher water content than those on bare rock. A manipulative experiment was performed to test the hypothesis that such microhabitats would be selected less often if physical stress was reduced. Results obtained do not support the hypothesis, and reasons for this are discussed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stafford R

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Molluscan Forum

Year of Conference: 2001

Pages: -

Publisher: Malacological Society of London


Series Title: Bulletin of the Malacological Society of London