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Marine Biology

, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 149–154 | Cite as

Habitat choice in the intertidal snail Tegula funebralis

  • B. A. Byers
  • J. B. Mitton
Article

Abstract

Intraspecific variation in habitat preference was studied in the black turban snail Tegula funebralis (Adams, 1854), at two locations on the northern U.S. Pacific Coast. Studies in 1977 using a mass-marking technique showed that most snails found either above or in permanent tidepools at low tide return to their original habitats within a few days after experimental habitat reversal. This return is not due to homing behavior, but is apparently based on the recognition of ecological characteristics of the two habitats. Experiments in 1978 with individually-marked snails suggest that they prefer specific intertidal levels, and not merely above-pool or in-pool habitats. Theoretical models predict that this behavior could play a major role in the maintenance of genetic polymorphism in a species like T. funebralis, whose intertidal environment is characterized by extreme spatial heterogeneity.

Keywords

Theoretical Model Genetic Polymorphism Spatial Heterogeneity Habitat Preference Intraspecific Variation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. A. Byers
    • 1
  • J. B. Mitton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental, Population and Organismic BiologyUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA

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