MEPS 151:291-293 (1997)  -  doi:10.3354/meps151291

Increased drag reduces growth of snails: comparison of flume and in situ experiments

Wahl M

Snails Littorina littorea with and without artificial epibionts were exposed in situ for nearly 1 mo. Measurement of individual shell length increase over this period revealed that clean snails grew 3 times faster than fouled snails. These results compare well with previously conducted flume experiments (Wahl 1996). This epibiosis effect is thought to be due to increased drag--the only feature distinguishing the 2 treatment groups--caused by the presence of epibionts on the shell. Increased drag probably entails higher energy expenditure for pedal activities (attachment and locomotion) and a reduced allocation of resources towards growth and, possibly, reproduction.


Littorina littorea · Drag · Simulated epibiosis · Growth rates · In situ experiments · Energetic trade-offs


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