, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 1–7 | Cite as

Coexistence, size overlap and population regulation in tidal vs. non-tidal Palaemon prawns

  • Anders Berglund


The effect of increased habitat heterogeneity in tidal areas on coexistence between Palaemon prawns was studied at eight sites along the European Atlantic coast. Two species which are sympatric in non-tidal areas, Palaemon adspersus Rathke and P. squilla (L.) are largely allopatric in tidal areas, and the sympatric size difference decreases in allopatry. In tidal areas the smaller species, P. squilla, is restricted to brown algal belts and rockpools. A third species, P. serratus (Pennant), larger than the others, occurs under oceanic salinities in subtidal brown algal belts and there has forced P. squilla to restrict its habitat distribution to adjacent intertidal rockpools. At estuarine salinities, however, P. squilla also inhabits the brown algal belts. A larger diel variation in stomach fullness index in P. squilla than in P. adspersus persists in non-tidal areas.

Abiotic factors probably restrict the two largest species, viz. P. adspersus and P. serratus, to subtidal environments; these species are sensitive to the extremes in salinity, temperature or O2 levels characteristic of the intertidal zone. Competition and/or predation probably relegates P. squilla to the intertidal zone. In non-tidal areas, where this zone is reduced, P. squilla increases its niche width and coexists with P. adspersus, and the size differentiation associated with sympatry may reduce interspecific competition.


Atlantic Coast Intertidal Zone Interspecific Competition Habitat Heterogeneity Niche Width 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ahlgren I, Ahlgren G (1976) Vattenkemiska analysmetoder, sammanställda för undervisningen i limnologi. Compendium, Institute of Limonology, UppsalaGoogle Scholar
  2. Berg J (1979) Discussion of methods of investigating the food of fishes, with reference to a preliminary study of the prey of Gobiusculus flavescens (Gobiidae). Mar Biol 50:263–273Google Scholar
  3. Berglund A (1980) Niche differentiation between two littoral prawns in Gullmar Fjord, Sweden: Palaemon adspersus and P. squilla. Holarct Ecol 3:111–115Google Scholar
  4. Berglund A (1981) Sex dimorphism and skewed sex ratios in the prawn species Palaemon adspersus and P. squilla. Oikos 36:158–162Google Scholar
  5. Berglund A, Bengtsson J (1981) Biotic and abiotic factors determining the distribution of two prawn species: Palaemon adspersus and P. squilla. Oecologia (Berl) 49:300–304Google Scholar
  6. Cody ML (1974) Competition and the structure of bird communities. Princeton University Press, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  7. Colwell RK, Futuyma J (1971) On the measurement of niche breadth and overlap. Ecology 52:567–576Google Scholar
  8. Connell JH (1980) Diversity and the coevolution of competition, or the ghost of competition past. Oikos 35:131–138Google Scholar
  9. Daniel MJ, Boyden CR (1975) Diurnal variations in physicochemical conditions within intertidal rockpools. Fld Stud 4:161–176Google Scholar
  10. Doty MS (1957) Rocky intertidal surface. In: Hedgpeth JW (ed) Treatise on marine ecology and paleoecology I: Ecology. Geol Soc Am Mem 67:535–585Google Scholar
  11. Forster GR (1951a) The biology of the common prawn, Leander serratus Pennant. J Mar Biol Ass UK 30:333–360Google Scholar
  12. Forster GR (1951b) Notes on Leander squilla L. J Mar Biol Ass UK 30:361–367Google Scholar
  13. Goss-Custard S, Jones J, Kitching JA, Norton FRS and T Fl (1979) Tide pools of Carrigathorna and Barloge Creek. Philos Trans Soc Lond Biol Sci 287:1–44Google Scholar
  14. Grant PR (1972) Convergent and divergent character displacement. Biol J Linn Soc 4:39–68Google Scholar
  15. Höglund H (1943) On the biology and larval development of Leander squilla (L.) forma typica de Man. Svenska Hydrografisk-Biologiska Kommissiones skr. Ny serie: Biologi II, 6:1–44Google Scholar
  16. Kohn AJ, Nybakken JW (1975) Ecology of Conus on Eastern Indian Ocean fringing reefs: diversity of species and resource utilization. Mar Biol 29:211–234Google Scholar
  17. Leviten PJ, Kohn AJ (1980) Microhabitat resource use, activity patterns, and episodic catastrophe: Conus on tropical intertidal reef rock benches. Ecol Monogr 50:55–75Google Scholar
  18. Pyefinch KA (1943) The intertidal ecology of Bardsley island, North Wales, with special reference to the recolonization of rock surfaces, and the rockpool environment. J Anim Ecol 12:82–108Google Scholar
  19. Richard P (1978) Tolérance aux températures extrêmes de Palaemon serratus (Pennant), influence de la taille et de l'acclimation. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 35:137–146Google Scholar
  20. Rodriguez G, Naylor E (1972) Behavioural rhythms in littoral prawns. J Mar Biol Ass UK 52:81–95Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anders Berglund
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUppsalaSweden

Personalised recommendations