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Predator-Induced Shell Dimorphism in the Acorn Barnacle Chthamalus anisopoma

Curtis M. Lively
Evolution
Vol. 40, No. 2 (Mar., 1986), pp. 232-242
DOI: 10.2307/2408804
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2408804
Page Count: 11
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Predator-Induced Shell Dimorphism in the Acorn Barnacle Chthamalus anisopoma
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Abstract

Field experiments were conducted in order to determine the nature of shell dimorphism in the acorn barnacle Chthamalus anisopoma and the adaptive significance of the atypical form. The typical morph has the conical shape which is characteristic of acorn barnacles, while the atypical morph appears bent over, with the rim of its aperture oriented perpendicular to its base. The experiments showed that: 1) the bent-over morphology is an environmentally-induced developmental response to the presence of a carnivorous gastropod (Acanthina angelica) and 2) that "bents" are more resistant than "conics" to specialized predation by this snail. The results also showed that predation by A. angelica is patchy and heaviest in the near vicinity of cracks and crevices, which it uses as refuges during periods of tidal inundation. Because predation is patchy and bents are less fecund and grow slower than conics, the conditional developmental strategy is likely to be favored over strict genetical control of shell morphology.

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