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Phenotypic changes in the progeny of Nucella lapillus (Gastropoda) transplanted from an exposed shore to sheltered inlets
Gibbs, P.E. (1993). Phenotypic changes in the progeny of Nucella lapillus (Gastropoda) transplanted from an exposed shore to sheltered inlets. J. Moll. Stud. 59(2): 187-194. hdl.handle.net/10.1093/mollus/59.2.187
In: Journal of Molluscan Studies. Oxford University Press: Reading. ISSN 0260-1230, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Nucella lapillus (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Marine

Author  Top 
  • Gibbs, P.E.

Abstract
    Nucella lapillus adults were transplanted from the exposed north Cornish coast (Bude) to two sheltered inlets in south Devon (Dart Estuary and Plymouth Sound), sites where the native populations had ceased breeding as a result of sterilisation by tributyltin (TBT) pollution. The transplants produced progeny, many of which survived to maturity and beyond (6 + years). The shell form of Bude individuals is typical of animals exposed to severe wave-action, i.e. of light construction with a large aperture to accommodate a broad foot allowing for strong adhesion. However, in contrast, the shell form of the progeny differed markedly from that of their parents; they had the characters associated with development under sheltered conditions and subject to severe crab predation, i.e. a robust structure and small aperture. Statistical analysis of the shell characters of the two generations indicated highly significant differences. It is concluded these observations provide evidence of the remarkable plasticity in the shell form of N lapillus in that both ‘exposed morph’ and ‘sheltered morph’ can be produced by the same gene pool when subject to the actions of the appropriate selection pressures.

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