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Repeated cycles of immersion and emersion amplify the crawling rhythm of the intertidal gastropod Hydrobia ulvae

  • Sónia Vieira (a1), Helena Coelho (a1), Rita Nolasco (a2), João Serôdio (a1), Richard S.K. Barnes (a3) and Henrique Queiroga (a1)...

Abstract

Hydrobia ulvae displays an endogenous rhythm of crawling behaviour of circatidal periodicity, with higher levels of activity during high water. In the present study we address the effect of repeated cycles of immersion and emersion at tidal periodicity on the level and synchronism of the behaviour, by contrasting these with the effects of continuous immersion and continuous emersion. Snails were recorded in dark conditions under the different immersion regimes for 3 days. The results show that continuously emersed snails displayed very low levels of activity. Average activity levels of continuously immersed snails and of those subjected to tidal cycles of immersion and emersion were similar, had identical periods related to the period of the tidal cycle, and had similar phase relationships to the expected tidal cycle. However, form-estimates for these two categories of snails differed, the snails subjected to cyclic conditions showing a larger amplitude and greater synchronism of activity. Therefore, it is concluded that recurrent cycles of immersion and emersion should contribute to well defined cycles of activity in the intertidal environment, with greater activity levels during high water.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: H. Queiroga, CESAM & Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal email: henrique.queiroga@ua.pt

References

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Vieira, S., Coelho, H., Nolasco, R., Serôdio, J., Barnes, R.S.K. and Queiroga, H. (2010) The circatidal rhythm of the estuarine gastropod Hydrobia ulvae (Gastropoda, Hydrobiidae): the activity maximum is not timed to the microphytobenthos biomass maximum. Biological Journal of the Linenan Society 100, 439450.

Keywords

Repeated cycles of immersion and emersion amplify the crawling rhythm of the intertidal gastropod Hydrobia ulvae

  • Sónia Vieira (a1), Helena Coelho (a1), Rita Nolasco (a2), João Serôdio (a1), Richard S.K. Barnes (a3) and Henrique Queiroga (a1)...

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