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Short-term changes in activity rhythms in an intertidal arthropod (Acarina: Bdella interrupta Evans)
Foster, W.A.; Treherne, J.E.; Evans, P.D.; Ruscoe, C.N.E. (1979). Short-term changes in activity rhythms in an intertidal arthropod (Acarina: Bdella interrupta Evans). Oecologia 38(3): 291-301.
In: Oecologia. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0029-8549, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Foster, W.A.
  • Treherne, J.E.
  • Evans, P.D.
  • Ruscoe, C.N.E.

    On a marine saltmarsh, the intertidal mite, Bdella interrupta Evans, is exposed to periods of regular tidal submergence which alternate with periods of tidal emergence. The mite shows well defined day and night peaks of locomotory activity on the soil surface. During periods of tidal submergence the activity peaks showed an apparent periodicity, of around 12.5 h, characteristic of a tidal rhythm. In the presence of non-submerging tides the periodicity of the activity peaks changed to around 11.5 h. It is suggested that this shorter periodicity results either from free-running of the circatidal clock in the absence of entraining tides or from a sequence of transients that are phaseshifting towards a stable relationship with a second zeitgeber. It is further suggested that the alternation between a ca. 12.5 h and a ca. 11.5 h rhythm ensures that an activity peak is maintained in daylight and, also, reduces the possibility of inundation during the first critical floodings during sequences of rising spring tides.

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