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Habitat Selection and Migratory Behaviour of the Intertidal Gastropod Littorina littorea (L.)

Robert P. Gendron
Journal of Animal Ecology
Vol. 46, No. 1 (Feb., 1977), pp. 79-92
DOI: 10.2307/3948
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3948
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Habitat Selection and Migratory Behaviour of the Intertidal Gastropod Littorina littorea (L.)
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Abstract

(1) On a rocky beach in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, Littorina littorea occur in greatest densities at and below MLW. Habitat preference varies with size resulting in a gradient of decreasing size with increasing tidal height. (2) The only evidence for a downward winter migration was a pronounced decrease in the number of snails at the highest station (MHW). There was no apparent shift in the distribution of the rest of the population. (3) When dislocated up or down the shore L. littorea migrated in the direction of its original position. The primary directional stimuli used by migrating snails was the direction of wave movement. This provided relatively precise information regardless of weather conditions. (4) In the absence of waves migrating snails demonstrate a phototactic response. Snails dislocated upshore were positively phototactic and those that had been dislocated down-shore were negatively phototactic. This response is probably of minor importance since migration occurs primarily during submergence when waves can be used.

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