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Differences in shell morphology and reproductive impairment in Littorina littorea along the Belgian coast
Van den Broeck, H.; De Wolf, H.; Backeljau, T.; Blust, R. (2007). Differences in shell morphology and reproductive impairment in Littorina littorea along the Belgian coast, in: Mees, J. et al. (Ed.) (2007). VLIZ Young Scientists' Day, Brugge, Belgium 2 March 2007: book of abstracts. VLIZ Special Publication, 39: pp. 60
In: Mees, J.; Seys, J. (Ed.) (2007). VLIZ Young Scientists' Day, Brugge, Belgium 2 March 2007: book of abstracts. VLIZ Special Publication, 39. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. IX, 82 pp., more
In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950, more

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Document type: Scientific report

Keywords
    Animal morphology; Reproductive behaviour; Littorina littorea (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; ANE, Belgium, Belgian Coast [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Van den Broeck, H., more
  • De Wolf, H., more
  • Backeljau, T., more
  • Blust, R., more

Abstract
    In this study we evaluated the condition of Littorina littorea along the Belgian coast using shell morphology and reproductive impairment (i.e. female intersex and sterility; male penis shedding) characteristics. Periwinkles were collected at eight sites along the Belgian coast of which three were in the direct vicinity of the seaports of ‘Zeebrugge’, ‘Oostende’ and ‘Nieuwpoort’. Standard shell parameters were measured, animals were sexed based on the p/a of the vesicula seminalis and reproductive impairment was determined for both sexes. Significant differences in the shell morphology and reproductive impairment could be detected among the sites. Indeed, periwinkles from ‘Zeebrugge’ were significantly larger and heavier compared to the specimens that were taken from the other sites. In addition, ‘Zeebrugge’ contained the largest number of penis shedded males (i.e. 61.11%) and intersex/sterile females (i.e. 100% and 95.24% respectively). The latter resulted in an ISI-index of 3.52, which is one of the highest ISI values ever recorded in L. littorea.

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