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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 274:263-268 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/meps274263

Changes in latitudes, changes in aptitudes: Nucella canaliculata (Mollusca: Gastropoda) is more stressed at its range edge

Cascade J. B. Sorte, Gretchen E. Hofmann*

Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, and the Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106, USA
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: A paradigm in biogeography is that organisms have Œabundant center¹ distributions, with abundances peaking at the range center and declining towards the range boundaries. One explanation for this pattern is that abundances are associated with organisms¹ physiological stress levels and performances, with organisms experiencing more stress at the range edges. Here we explored whether the intertidal dogwhelk Nucella canaliculata was distributed in an Œabundant center¹ pattern. We addressed the role of stress in setting the species¹ range limits. We determined dogwhelk abundances at range-center and range-edge sites and measured physiological stress levels by quantifying the 70 kDa heat-shock protein as a biochemical stress index. N. canaliculata was less abundant and more stressed at its southern range edge than at the range center, suggesting that populations at the range edge may be most impacted by global climate change.

KEY WORDS: Nucella canaliculata · Biogeography · Species range · Biomarkers · Hsp70

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