Oecologia

, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 110–121 | Cite as

Intraspecific variation in the population dynamics and growth of the limpet, Cellana tramoserica

  • W. J. Fletcher
Original Papers

Summary

Populations of the limpet Cellana tramoserica (Sowerby) from high, mid, and low intertidal regions, and from a subtidal zone, were studied at Cape Banks (N.S.W.), Australia. Individuals from the subtidal population had the largest mean and maximum shell size, the low and high shore populations were intermediate, while the midshore population had both the smallest mean and maximum size. The density of adults showed the reverse trend: the midshore region had the greatest adult population density while the subtidal population had the smallest density. The density of juveniles and recruits was negatively correlated with tidal height in the intertidal areas, but the density of both age-classes was smallest in the subtidal region. The rate of growth of individuals was negatively correlated to the adult density of a site; individuals from the subtidal population grew the fastest, while those from the midshore region grew the slowest. The level of adult mortality of the four populations was similar, with an annual rate of between 50–60%. Juvenile mortality did, however, differ among populations; reduced percentages of juveniles reached adult size in the mid and low shore populations than in the highshore and subtidal populations.

The expected lifetime fecundity of individual females differed among the four populations. Subtidal individuals were expected to spawn 40 times the amount of gonad material during their life than were individuals from the midshore population. Individuals from the high and low populations probably spawn 10 times more than those from the midshore region. Differences in the fecundities of individuals were not likely to be the result of genetic differences because experimental transplants and manipulations of density showed that individuals from all the intertidal populations could increase their growth rate to match that of subtidal individuals. The implications of the difference in lifetime fecundity among populations are discussed.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. J. Fletcher
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoology building, School of Biological SciencesUniversity of SydneyAustralia

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