Marine epibiosis. IV The periwinkle Littonna littorea lacks typical antifculing defences - why are some populations so little fouled?.

Wahl, Martin and Sönnichsen, H. (1992) Marine epibiosis. IV The periwinkle Littonna littorea lacks typical antifculing defences - why are some populations so little fouled?. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 88 . pp. 225-235. DOI 10.3354/meps088225.

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Abstract

Epibiosis on the shells of Littorina littorea (L.) varies between populations. While snails from the Helgoland intertidal zone (North Sea) rarely carry any epibionts, subtidal snails from the Kiel Bight (Baltic Sea) are frequently fouled. This study shows that L. littorea lacks typical anti-fouling defence adaptations such as mechanical, physical or chemical defences. Our enclosure experiments suggest that epibiosis on the shells is inversely correlated to L. littorea population density. At high densities snails frequently pass over one another and subsequent grazing, bulldozing and/or foot mucus secretion may contribute to the inhibition of epibionts. Consequently, the observed differences in shell epibiosis between the 2 L. littorea populations may to a large extent be explained by considerably higher L. littorea abundances in the Helgoland intertidal zone. Differences in habitat conditions probably play a secondary role. We suggest that the fouling inhibiting factors associated with high population density (mucus secretion, bulldozing, mutual grazing) are to be considered as a biological disturbance which effectively blocks recruitment by most potential colonizers.

Document Type: Article
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.3354/meps088225
ISSN: 0171-8630
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2014 13:47
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2014 13:47
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/23192

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