Shorter but thicker: analysis of internal growth bands in shells of intertidal vs. subtidal Antarctic limpets, Nacella concinna, reflects their environmental adaptation


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Doris.Abele [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

The limpet Nacella concinna is a dominant macroinvertebrate along the coastal Antarctic Peninsula with two ecotypes inhabiting intertidal and subtidal areas, respectively. The ecological aim of the study was to understand whether higher stress competence and migratory energy expenses in intertidal Antarctic limpets shorten their lifetime and limit the shell growth rate compared to their sublittoral conspecific. We evaluated shell morphometry, age and internal shell growth bands in a large number of intertidal and subtidal N. concinna shells in Potter Cove, South Shetland Islands. Comparisons of their morphometrics showed that intertidal limpets are relatively shorter and less wide, and have higher shell mass, i.e. at common shell height, intertidal shells are relatively thicker and heavier than those of subtidal specimens. Internal shell growth bands showed alternating wide opaque (faster growth in summer) and thin translucent bands (slow growth in winter). The maximum age read was close to 20-years for both groups. Comparisons of von Bertalanffy growth curves showed for shell length and shell width lower growth rate k in intertidal animals than in subtidal ones associated to a great variability, with no differences in other growth constants. However, when shell height vs. age is considered, no differences were observed for any growth parameter. Curtailed variability of growth rates in the intertidal population reflects either a limitation of the food reserves or feeding time, or an energy gap for shell growth due to the costs for migratory movements and stress defense.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Eprint ID
50786
DOI 10.1007/s00300-019-02615-z

Cite as
Lomovasky, B. J. , de Aranzamendi, M. C. and Abele, D. (2019): Shorter but thicker: analysis of internal growth bands in shells of intertidal vs. subtidal Antarctic limpets, Nacella concinna, reflects their environmental adaptation , Polar Biology, pp. 1-11 . doi: 10.1007/s00300-019-02615-z


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