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Activity patterns and predatory behavior of an intertidal nemertean from rocky shores: Prosorhochmus nelsoni (Hoplonemertea) from the Southeast Pacific
Caplins, S.; Penna-Diaz, M.A.; Godoy, E.; Valdivia, N.; Turbeville, J.M.; Thiel, M. (2012). Activity patterns and predatory behavior of an intertidal nemertean from rocky shores: Prosorhochmus nelsoni (Hoplonemertea) from the Southeast Pacific. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 159(6): 1363-1374. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-012-1916-7
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Caplins, S.
  • Penna-Diaz, M.A.
  • Godoy, E.
  • Valdivia, N.
  • Turbeville, J.M.
  • Thiel, M.

Abstract
    Understanding the impact of environmental stressors on predator activity is a prerequisite to understanding the underlying mechanisms shaping community structure. The nemertean Prosorhochmus nelsoni is a common predator in the mid-intertidal zone on rocky shores along the Chilean coast, where it can reach very high abundances (up to 260 ind m-2) in algal turfs, algal crusts, barnacle crusts, and mixed substrata. Tidal and diurnal scans revealed that the activity of P. nelsoni is primarily restricted to night and early-morning low tides and is relatively low when air temperatures are high. On average, larger worms crawled faster than smaller worms, with their maximum velocity being influenced by substratum type. Their estimated rate of predation is 0.092 prey items nemertean-1 day-1, just below the laboratory rate of ~0.2 amphipods nemertean-1 day-1 previously estimated for this species. P. nelsoni consumes a diverse spectrum of prey items (i.e., amphipods, isopods, decapods, barnacles, and dipterans) and is possibly exerting a significant influence on its prey populations. We suggest that the opportunistic predatory behavior of this intertidal predator is caused by the trade-off between immediate persistence (e.g., avoidance of desiccation) and long-term survival through successful foraging.

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