Thermal Stress in a High Shore Intertidal Environment: Morphological and Behavioural Adaptations of the Gastropod Littorina africana

  • Christopher D. McQuaid
  • P. A. Scherman
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 151)

Abstract

Thermal stress, coupled with desiccation, is one of the major physical hazards to be overcome by intertidal organisms. Biogeographic trends are generally temperature mediated (eg. Brown and Jarman, 1978; Bolton, 1985) and, although intertidal organisms generally live well within their physiological limits (Wolcott, 1973; Underwood, 1979), zonation effects are often considered to be linked to the increasing range of temperatures experienced higher up the shore (eg. Sandison, 1967; Sterling, 1982). In cold climates thermal stress is related to problems of very low temperatures and even freezing (resistance to freezing of intertidal invertebrates is reviewed by Murphy, 1983) but in warm temperate, tropical and sub-tropical areas thermal stress takes the form of potential overheating (es. Garrity, 1984). Members of the genus Littorina occupy the highest reaches of the littoral fringe along the coast of southern Africa and are only wet by wave splash or at high spring tides. Consequently they may spend weeks when, especially during the summer, they are subject to high day time temperatures without access to water which could be used for evaporative cooling.

Keywords

Convection Depression Beach Macrophyte Emissivity 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Atkinson, W.D. and Warwick, T., 1983, The role of selection in the colour polymorphism of Littorina rudis Maton and Littorina arcana Hannaford-Ellis (Prosobranchia: Littorinidae), Biol. J.Linn. Soc., 20:137–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bolton, J.J., 1985, Marine phytogeography of the Benguela upwelling region on the west coast of southern Africa: a temperature dependent approach, Bot. Mar., 29:251–256.Google Scholar
  3. Brown, A.C., 1960, Desiccation as a factor influencing the vertical distribution of some South African Gastropoda from intertidal rocky shores, Port.Acta.Biol. (B), 7:11–23.Google Scholar
  4. Brown, A.C. and Jarman, N., 1978, Coastal marine habitats, in, : “Biogeography and Ecology of southern Africa”, M.J.A. Werger, ed., Junk, The Hague.Google Scholar
  5. Garrity, S.D., 1984, Some adaptations of gastropods to physical stress on a tropical rocky shore, Ecology, 65:559–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hughes, R.N., 1979, On the taxonomy of Littorina africana (Mollusca: Gastropoda), Zool.Linn.Soc., 65:111–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kilburn, R. and Rippey, E., 1982, “Sea shells of southern Africa”, Macmillan, Johannesburg.Google Scholar
  8. McQuaid, C.D. 1981, The establishment and maintenance of vertical size gradients in population of Littorina africana knysnaensis (Phillips) on an exposed rocky shore, J.Exp.Mar.Biol., 54:77–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. McQuaid, C.D., 1985, Differential effects of predation by the intertidal whelk Nucella dubia (Kr.) on Littorina africana knysnaensis (Phillipi) and the barnacle Tetraclita serrata Darwin, J.Exp.Mar.Biol.Ecol., 89:97–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. McQuaid, C.D., Branch, C.M. and Frost, P.G.H., 1979, Aestivation behaviour and thermal relations of the pulmonate Theba pisana in a semi-arid environment, J.Therm.Biol., 4:47–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Murphy, D.J., 1983, Freezing resistance in intertidal invertebrates, Ann.Rev.Physiol., 45:289–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Porter, W.P. and Gates, D.M., 1969, Thermodynamic equilibria of animals with environment, Ecol.Monogr., 39:227–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Sandison, E.E., 1967, Respiratory responses to temperature and temperature tolerance of some intertidal gastropods, J.Exp.Mar.Biol.Ecol., 1:272–281.Google Scholar
  14. Stirling, H.P., 1982, The upper temperature tolerances of prosobranch gastropods of rocky shores at Hong Kong and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, J.Exp.Mar.Biol.Ecol., 63:133–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Underwood, A.J., 1979, The ecology of intertidal gastropods, Adv.Mar.Biol., 16:111–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Vermeij, G.J., 1973, Morphological patterns in high-intertidal gastropods: adaptive strategies and their limitations, Mar.Biol. 20:319–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Wolcott, T.C., 1973, Physiological ecology and intertidal zonation in limpets (Acmaea): a critical look at “limiting factors”. Biol.Bull. Woods Hole, 145:389–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher D. McQuaid
    • 1
  • P. A. Scherman
    • 1
  1. 1.Rhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations