, Volume 652, Issue 1, pp 49–56

Strong influence of microhabitat on survival for an intertidal snail, Nucella lima

Primary research paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10750-010-0317-5

Cite this article as:
Kovach, R.P. & Tallmon, D.A. Hydrobiologia (2010) 652: 49. doi:10.1007/s10750-010-0317-5


Within a population, survival can vary widely among individuals based upon numerous aspects of the phenotype, including (but not limited to) age, size, and habitat use. We examined the role of microhabitat use, individual color, and length, in explaining within-population variation in survival for an intertidal snail, Nucella lima. We used a multi-state capture–mark–recapture approach to determine survival and movement rates and found that favored models constrained survival to be a function of microhabitat. Survival estimates from the best-fit model were different between habitat types, despite the fact that habitats were immediately adjacent. Fidelity and disproportionate movement into the habitat with the highest survival suggested possible adaptive habitat choice. This study highlights the importance of small-scale variation in influencing population vital rates, as well as the need for quantifying within-population heterogeneity in survival.


SurvivalMicrohabitatWithin-population heterogeneityNucella limaMovement

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biology and Wildlife Department, Institute of Arctic BiologyUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  2. 2.Biology and Marine BiologyUniversity of Alaska SoutheastJuneauUSA