February 1st to 5th 2016
Olhão, Portugal
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Homing behaviour in two concurring species of limpets: P. vulgata and P. depressa

Oral Presentation
Biodiversity Effects
Thursday, February 4, 2016 -
12:15 to 12:30

Bommarito, C. 1 Boaventura, D. 2 Hawkins, S.J. 3 Santini, G. 4

1MARE- Marine and Environmental Science Centre, Science Faculty of Lisbon University, Guia Marine Laboratory, Portugal
2MARE- Marine and Environmental Science Centre, Science Faculty of Lisbon University, Guia Marine Laboratory, Portugal
3School of Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
4Department of Biology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy

Amongst the species of the intertidal rocky shore communities limpets are important keystone grazers and one aspect of their behavioural ecology is represented by homing. All the members of the genus Patella are generally thought to have a home scar to which they return after excursions. There is a general agreement that homing is an adaptation to avoid desiccation and to also reduce predation risk providing a site of protection. This study analyses homing behaviour in two concurring species, Patella vulgata and Patella depressa, both common in North-East Atlantic. It tested the explanatory model that in the protrandrous species P. vulgata young males have a riskier behaviour than females measured by changing home more often. This would lead to energy maximizing. In contrast large females are expected to show greater homing fidelity to minimize risk and spend more energy for the gonads development. In the non-protrandrous P. depressa males are expected to be more adventurous than females but less than in a protrandrous species.Experiments were done during spring-summer 2014 on the south coast of England (Plymouth, UK) and during the spring-summer 2015 on the central Portuguese coast (shores of Cabo Raso, Avencas, Caxias, Portinho da Costa). In each shore, three areas in eulittoral zone were chosen, with irregular vertical surfaces. In each one of these replicates limpets of various size were marked and the movements, growth and mortality recorded. The results confirmed the hypothesis that in P. vulgata small males move more than large females, in P. depressa this difference is less marked.
ecology, homing, limpet, Patella vulgata, Patella depressa

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