Diversity in the growth patterns of marine gastropods

TitleDiversity in the growth patterns of marine gastropods
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsChatzinikolaou, E
EditorBianchi, AM, Fields JN
Book TitleGastropods: Diversity, Habitat and Genetics
Series TitleAnimal Science, Issues and Professions
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
ISBN Number978-1-61324-695-5

Diversity in growth patterns of marine gastropod populations may be attributed to varying parameters. Factors such as maturity status, gender and population density may determine the actual growth rate of individuals. The geographic variability of growth rate in conspecific populations may be the result of different environmental pressures. Seawater temperature, type and availability of food, wave exposure and predation have been proved to affect shell size and shell thickness. Also differences in population dynamics and growth patterns have been recorded between populations of gastropods inhabiting different localities. Individuals inhabiting exposed shores have a faster growth rate but may reach a smaller maximum asymptotic length in comparison to whelks living in sheltered environments. Gastropods living in coastal environments hosting a great number of predatory crabs develop thicker shells that offer higher protection against predation stress. Increased seawater temperature and high food availability result in faster growth rates. Seawater temperature may also affect the duration and seasonality of the growth period.

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