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Phenotypic variation in shell form in the intertidal acorn barnacle Chthamalus montagui: distribution, response to predators and life history trade-offs

Phenotypic variation in shell form in the intertidal acorn barnacle Chthamalus montagui: distribution, response to predators and life history trade-offs
Phenotypic variation in shell form in the intertidal acorn barnacle Chthamalus montagui: distribution, response to predators and life history trade-offs


The acorn barnacle Chthamalus montagui can present strong variation in shell morphology, ranging from flat conic to a highly bent form, caused by a substantial overgrowth of the rostrum plate. Shell shape distribution was investigated between January and May 2004 from geographical to microhabitat spatial scales along the western coast of Britain. Populations studied in the north (Scotland and Isle of Man) showed a higher degree of shell variation compared to those in the south (Wales and south-west England). In the north, C. montagui living at lower tidal levels and in proximity to the predatory dogwhelk, Nucella lapillus, were more bent in profile. Laboratory experiments were conducted to examine behavioural responses, and vulnerability of bent and conic barnacles to predation by N. lapillus. Dogwhelks did not attack one morphotype more than the other, but only 15 % of attacks on bent forms were successful compared to 75 % in conic forms. Dogwhelk effluent reduced the time spent feeding by C. montagui (11 %), but there was no significant difference between conic and bent forms. Examination of barnacle morphology indicated a trade-off in investment in shell structure and feeding appendages associated with being bent, but none with egg or somatic tissue mass. These results are consistent with C. montagui showing an induced defence comparable to that found in its congeners Chthamalus anisopoma and Chthamalus fissus on the Pacific coast of North America, but further work to demonstrate inducibility is required.
0025-3162
2609-2619
Murua, Jefferson
248158ad-eb87-4c14-b6c3-0ca6792d511d
Burrows, Michael T.
a38026ff-26eb-4a99-8cdd-34bf6b9b479d
Hughes, Roger N.
1bd92131-0fdb-4e8c-92c9-06be7bb8f29d
Hawkins, Stephen J.
758fe1c1-30cd-4ed1-bb65-2471dc7c11fa
Thompson, Richard C.
f439ea56-b6dd-48cf-8adb-d9c2ecc6e24d
Jenkins, Stuart R.
63f5521f-fe3a-4dae-b582-4a6a8d3aa936
Murua, Jefferson
248158ad-eb87-4c14-b6c3-0ca6792d511d
Burrows, Michael T.
a38026ff-26eb-4a99-8cdd-34bf6b9b479d
Hughes, Roger N.
1bd92131-0fdb-4e8c-92c9-06be7bb8f29d
Hawkins, Stephen J.
758fe1c1-30cd-4ed1-bb65-2471dc7c11fa
Thompson, Richard C.
f439ea56-b6dd-48cf-8adb-d9c2ecc6e24d
Jenkins, Stuart R.
63f5521f-fe3a-4dae-b582-4a6a8d3aa936

Murua, Jefferson, Burrows, Michael T., Hughes, Roger N., Hawkins, Stephen J., Thompson, Richard C. and Jenkins, Stuart R. (2014) Phenotypic variation in shell form in the intertidal acorn barnacle Chthamalus montagui: distribution, response to predators and life history trade-offs. Marine Biology, 161 (11), 2609-2619. (doi:10.1007/s00227-014-2532-5).

Record type: Article

Abstract



The acorn barnacle Chthamalus montagui can present strong variation in shell morphology, ranging from flat conic to a highly bent form, caused by a substantial overgrowth of the rostrum plate. Shell shape distribution was investigated between January and May 2004 from geographical to microhabitat spatial scales along the western coast of Britain. Populations studied in the north (Scotland and Isle of Man) showed a higher degree of shell variation compared to those in the south (Wales and south-west England). In the north, C. montagui living at lower tidal levels and in proximity to the predatory dogwhelk, Nucella lapillus, were more bent in profile. Laboratory experiments were conducted to examine behavioural responses, and vulnerability of bent and conic barnacles to predation by N. lapillus. Dogwhelks did not attack one morphotype more than the other, but only 15 % of attacks on bent forms were successful compared to 75 % in conic forms. Dogwhelk effluent reduced the time spent feeding by C. montagui (11 %), but there was no significant difference between conic and bent forms. Examination of barnacle morphology indicated a trade-off in investment in shell structure and feeding appendages associated with being bent, but none with egg or somatic tissue mass. These results are consistent with C. montagui showing an induced defence comparable to that found in its congeners Chthamalus anisopoma and Chthamalus fissus on the Pacific coast of North America, but further work to demonstrate inducibility is required.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 7 September 2014
Published date: November 2014
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

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Local EPrints ID: 371652
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/371652
ISSN: 0025-3162
PURE UUID: 63757e17-7d8d-4e55-b9a4-9267da24b8bc

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Date deposited: 11 Nov 2014 11:24
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 21:39

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