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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 430:103-111 (2011)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09122

Shell shape variation and fitness variables in the gastropod Littorina saxatilis

Thomas N. Walker1, John W. Grahame2,*

1Yorkshire Dales Estate Office, Waterhouses, Malham Tarn, Settle BD24 9PT, UK
2Institute of Integrative & Comparative Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: On shores on the east coast of Yorkshire, England, the gastropod Littorina saxatilis shows consistency in shell shape variation in samples taken from the upper portion of its intertidal range. Using analysis of shell dimensions by standard multivariate techniques and extended eigenshape analysis, this variation can be dissected into different aspects, and related to the ‘Raup growth parameters’. Some of the shell variation is shown to be related to the relative proportions of body and brood mass, and to an estimate of reproductive effort. This implies an association (perhaps indirect) between subtle variations in shell shape and fitness variables.


KEY WORDS: Shell shape · Fitness · Littorina · Trade-offs


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Cite this article as: Walker TN, Grahame JW (2011) Shell shape variation and fitness variables in the gastropod Littorina saxatilis. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 430:103-111. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09122

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