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Plasticity in the temporal organization of behaviour in the limpet Cellana grata
Santini, G.; Ngan, A.; Williams, G.A. (2011). Plasticity in the temporal organization of behaviour in the limpet Cellana grata. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(6): 1377-1386.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Santini, G.
  • Ngan, A.
  • Williams, G.A.

    The behaviour of intertidal consumers is often tightly constrained to tidal movements, although activity patterns can vary within these constraints. Spatio-temporal variability in behaviour of a limpet, Cellana grata, was analysed over different tidal conditions (spring and neap tides) and during different times of the year (one summer and one winter) at sites in Hong Kong. Activity was generally dictated by tidal movements, being concentrated when animals were awash. Plasticity in behaviour was observed, with some limpets anticipating activity during the summer period and delaying activity during winter time. Limpets were active for a time equal, or slightly less, than time awash. As the time awash exceeded ~14–16 h, however, activity duration decreased. Within this general pattern, tidal variation as well as variation among times of the year was noted, with the lowest dependence on time awash being recorded during winter neap tides. Limpets showed a slight preference for being active during nighttime, which was particularly evident when animals were emersed during the summer period. Although the basic activity in C. grata is constrained to a specific temporal window, this limpet is able to modulate its foraging strategies and resting height, according to local, daily changes in environmental conditions.

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