The effects of salinity on the growth rate and survival of juvenile Littorina saxatilis gastropods reared in the laboratory from the young of progenic females collected in estuarine, intermediate, and marine habitats were studied. The optimum growth conditions of juveniles were dependent on the salinity regime in their original habitat. The progeny of females from the marine site showed maximum survival at a salinity of 23‰, the value corresponding to the normal salinity in their native habitat during the breeding period, while at 14‰, the growth of juveniles from this population was strongly suppressed. Juveniles originating from the estuarine habitat were able to maintain equally high growth rates at 23 and 14‰; however, at 14‰, they grew significantly faster than juveniles from the marine site. The progeny of females from the intermediate habitat showed intermediate growth rates at 14‰. Fluctuating salinity (23–8–23‰) had an adverse effect on the growth of juvenile Littorina, irrespective of the parental habitat. The differences in survival, size, and growth rates of the progeny of L. saxatilis in habitats with different salinity regimes are discussed in relation to their potential adaptive significance to life in estuaries.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 8, 2004
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