Seasonal changes in catch rate, growth and mortality of Nassarius reticulatus from an intertidal lagoon and a wave-exposed beach at Rhosneigr (Anglesey, North Wales, UK) are described. The number of N. reticulatus caught in baited traps from the lagoon was significantly higher (>125 individuals trap−1) during the summer (>18°C), than at <12°C (<65 individuals trap−1), and the numbers caught in the lagoon were an order of magnitude greater than on the beach, >13 individuals trap−1 in July (>16°C), and <5 individuals trap−1 between December and April (<9.5°C). Predictions of shell growth attained by N. reticulatus annually in the lagoon using graphical modal progression analysis (MPA) of length frequency data, were similar to the growth of marked and recaptured lagoon N. reticulatus. Predictions of shell growth using computerised length frequency distribution analysis (LFDA), however, did not reflect the growth as accurately as MPA. Modal progression analysis demonstrated that N. reticulatus from the lagoon achieved a higher asymptotic maximum shell length (L ∞) and a lower growth constant (K) than animals from the beach. Shell growth was seasonal with growth of the lagoon individuals slowing down towards the end of September and resuming in early April, about a month later than the beach individuals. Mortality of N. reticulatus was greater during the summer, and survival was lower in the lagoon than on the beach. Recruitment patterns were similar in the lagoon and on the beach, and MPA and LFDA predicted that larval N. reticulatus settled between late summer and early autumn, with juveniles (7–8.9 mm) appearing in the population the following year, between February and April. Growth of male and female N. reticulatus in the laboratory was similar and was temperature and size dependent. The different growth patterns between N. reticulatus from the two habitats, predicted using MPA, were maintained when individuals were reared under laboratory conditions for ∼6 months; N. reticulatus <21 mm from the beach grew faster than individuals from the lagoon, although N. reticulatus >21 mm from the lagoon grew faster and attained a larger length (26 mm) than individuals from the beach (24 mm). Low food availability did not affect N. reticulatus survival in the laboratory but significantly suppressed shell growth.
Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2007
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