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Analysis of an intertidal population of the amphipod Gammarus palustris using a modified version of the egg-ratio method

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Abstract

An intertidal population of Gammarus palustris Bousfield was sampled over a 23-month period and analyzed by a modified form of the egg-ratio method. Total numbers and size-frequency distributions revealed small numbers in the early spring which later increased to a peak in the summer months. This was followed by a marked reduction near the end of sumer and a subsequent rise in numbers during the early fall. Finally there was a second decrease to very low numbers in the late fall and early winter. Average brood size was calculated and used as an indication of food limitation. Attempts to correlate this with per capita rate of change (r), birth rate (\((\hat b)\)and death rate (\((\hat d)\)) suggested that the population increase in the early summer was food-rather than predator-limited. The late summer decline appears to be the result of predation pressure as well as food limitation. The fall peak is attributed to juvenile release from ovigerous femals escaping previous predation and to an increase in adult males resulting from a release in predation pressure. The winter decline may be due to adverse environmental conditions.

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The order of authorship was decided by the toss of a coin.

An erratum to this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00388443.

Communicated by M.R. Tripp, Newark

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Van Dolah, R.F., Shapiro, L.E. & Rees, C.P. Analysis of an intertidal population of the amphipod Gammarus palustris using a modified version of the egg-ratio method. Marine Biology 33, 323–330 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00390570

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Keywords

  • Food Limitation
  • Predation Pressure
  • Brood Size
  • Early Winter
  • Early Fall