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Historical shell size reduction of the dogwhelk (Nucella lapillus) across the southern UK

Historical shell size reduction of the dogwhelk (Nucella lapillus) across the southern UK
Historical shell size reduction of the dogwhelk (Nucella lapillus) across the southern UK
Body size reduction is predicted to be one of the most common ecological responses to climate change, yet examples within some taxonomic groups, such as marine molluscs, are rare. Here, we document a significant reduction in shell size of the rocky shore gastropod Nucella lapillus across the southern UK using natural history collections and modern field data. These results are correlated with temporal changes in sea-surface temperature from a long-term monitoring station. The maximum height of N. lapillus shells has declined by approximately 18 mm over the past 100 years, and the median size of shells in large size classes declined by 6 mm during this time. Individuals are, on average, larger in the west than in the east, which is noted using both modern and historical samples. In some locations, there has been a local extinction of N. lapillus, potentially due to combined negative impacts of climate warming and TBT pollution. Our results further demonstrate the utility of natural history collections, paired with modern field sampling, to document biological response to climate change and other human impacts.
0025-3162
Wilson-Brodie, Rebecca, J.
3eb91ab1-d5c4-4f0c-a5d1-8944b536a296
MacLean, Moira A.
61661eb4-5549-4b68-b085-6fdd352664cb
Fenberg, Phillip B.
c73918cd-98cc-41e6-a18c-bf0de4f1ace8
Wilson-Brodie, Rebecca, J.
3eb91ab1-d5c4-4f0c-a5d1-8944b536a296
MacLean, Moira A.
61661eb4-5549-4b68-b085-6fdd352664cb
Fenberg, Phillip B.
c73918cd-98cc-41e6-a18c-bf0de4f1ace8

Wilson-Brodie, Rebecca, J., MacLean, Moira A. and Fenberg, Phillip B. (2017) Historical shell size reduction of the dogwhelk (Nucella lapillus) across the southern UK. Marine Biology, 164 (9), [190]. (doi:10.1007/s00227-017-3217-7).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Body size reduction is predicted to be one of the most common ecological responses to climate change, yet examples within some taxonomic groups, such as marine molluscs, are rare. Here, we document a significant reduction in shell size of the rocky shore gastropod Nucella lapillus across the southern UK using natural history collections and modern field data. These results are correlated with temporal changes in sea-surface temperature from a long-term monitoring station. The maximum height of N. lapillus shells has declined by approximately 18 mm over the past 100 years, and the median size of shells in large size classes declined by 6 mm during this time. Individuals are, on average, larger in the west than in the east, which is noted using both modern and historical samples. In some locations, there has been a local extinction of N. lapillus, potentially due to combined negative impacts of climate warming and TBT pollution. Our results further demonstrate the utility of natural history collections, paired with modern field sampling, to document biological response to climate change and other human impacts.

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Accepted/In Press date: 9 August 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 30 August 2017

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Local EPrints ID: 413599
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/413599
ISSN: 0025-3162
PURE UUID: 99ec9822-cc40-4ccb-8e2c-b15fece64996
ORCID for Rebecca, J. Wilson-Brodie: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5705-6078
ORCID for Moira A. MacLean: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0821-5781

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Date deposited: 30 Aug 2017 16:31
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 01:58

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