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Ecological Interactions between Cepaea nemoralis and Cepaea hortensis: Competition, Invasion but no Niche Displacement

R. H. Cowie and J. S. Jones
Functional Ecology
Vol. 1, No. 2 (1987), pp. 91-97
DOI: 10.2307/2389710
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2389710
Page Count: 7
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Ecological Interactions between Cepaea nemoralis and Cepaea hortensis: Competition, Invasion but no Niche Displacement
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Abstract

The importance of coevolution in shaping communities is not clear. Experiments with shells marked with a paint which fades in the sun show that the land snail Cepaea hortensis (Mull.) is more exposed to daylight than is Cepaea nemoralis (L.), but that there is no change in this behaviour when snails are placed in mixed or single species populations and no evidence of an interspecific interaction that might be a precursor of coevolution and character displacement for this niche dimension. C. hortensis on the Marlborough Downs has invaded many C. nemoralis colonies and replaced others during the past 25 years, a range expansion that may reflect the competition between the two that has been observed in the laboratory. If the lack of interaction for the niche dimension studied here is typical, the relative abundance of C. hortensis and C. nemoralis may reflect a balance between invasion and extinction rather than coevolution.

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