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Intertidal coarse woody debris: a spatial subsidy as shelter or feeding habitat for gastropods?


Storry, KA and Weldrick, CK and Mews, M and Zimmer, M and Jelinski, DE, Intertidal coarse woody debris: a spatial subsidy as shelter or feeding habitat for gastropods?, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 66, (1-2) pp. 197-203. ISSN 0272-7714 (2006) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2005.08.005


Coarse woody debris (CWD) in the intertidal region of rocky shores serves as a potential source of nutrients as well as habitat or refugia from predation, ecologically linking the adjacent marine and terrestrial habitats. In a series of field and laboratory experiments, the affinity of slow-moving motile intertidal gastropods to CWD either as food source or as shelter that increases habitat complexity was tested. In intertidal pools, CWD did not increase colonization by Littorina spp., while it did so in supratidal pools. Habitat complexity, brought about by algal cover and barnacles, was apparently sufficient in intertidal pools without woody debris, while the increase in habitat complexity by CWD increased the attractiveness of supratidal pools with little natural complexity to Littorina spp. Overall, however, comparison of pools containing woody debris and those containing artificial shelter provided evidence for CWD, and/or its biofilm, serving as food source rather than refugium per se. Similarly, Tegula funebralis chose CWD as food source rather than as shelter as indicated by comparison of autoclaved and unmanipulated woody debris. Further, both unfed and fed snails from a site where CWD was present significantly preferred CWD over macroalgae. Among snails from a site without woody debris, fed individuals showed no preference, while unfed snails significantly preferred macroalgae. From this, experience appears to be a factor that mediates the role of CWD. Overall, however, CWD appears to provide supplementary food to snails in the inter- and supratidal zone.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Gastropoda, substrate preference, supplementary food source
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Measurement and assessment of marine water quality and condition
UTAS Author:Weldrick, CK (Dr Christine Weldrick)
ID Code:145046
Year Published:2006
Web of Science® Times Cited:18
Deposited By:Australian Antarctic Program Partnership
Deposited On:2021-06-28
Last Modified:2021-10-01

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