A field survey and a laboratory experiment were conducted to examine ontogenetic shifts in habitat and diet of the turban snail Turbo cornutus. The main habitat of turban snail juveniles smaller than 10 mm shell height (SH) was turfs of articulated coralline algae, and that of adults larger than 50 mm SH was kelp beds of Ecklonia bicyclis and Ecklonia cava. However, the ontogenetic habitat shift during the juvenile stage of 20–50 mm SH was unclear. From the results of a long-term feeding experiment and stable isotope analysis, the gelidiacean alga Gelidium elegans was assumed to be more important as a food source for juvenile turban snail than E. cava in the field. However, the frequency of individuals inhabiting gelidiacean algal turfs was low in both juvenile and adult stages. Thus, the ontogenetic shifts in habitat and diet did not coincide and other factors, i.e., daytime refuge, are important. As the growth rate was higher in the juveniles fed on the two algal species than those fed on single algal species, co-occurrence of various algal habitats in rocky shore ecosystems as a coastal ecosystem complex may enhance growth of turban snail juveniles feeding on a combination of different algal species.
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The authors are grateful to staff of the National Research Institute of Fisheries Science Yokosuka Station for their kind help in carrying out the experiments and collection of experimental animals and algae. We also thank the staff of the Kanagawa Sea Farming Association for their cooperation in offering the juveniles of the turban snail. This research was financially supported by the Coastal Ecosystem Complex Project of the Ocean Resources Use Promotion Technology Development Program, of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japan.
This article is sponsored by the coastal ecosystem complex project of the ocean resource use promotion technology development program, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.
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Hayakawa, J., Ohtsuchi, N., Kawamura, T. et al. Ontogenetic habitat and dietary shifts in Japanese turban snail Turbo cornutus at Nagai, Sagami Bay, Japan. Fish Sci 84, 201–209 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12562-017-1170-5
- Gelidiacean algae
- Kelp bed
- Ontogenetic dietary shift
- Ontogenetic habitat shift
- Turbo cornutus