Biodiversity in Littorina species (Mollusca: Gastropoda): a physiological approach using heat-coma
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The upper critical thermal limits were measured as heat-coma temperatures in Littorina species as a tool for examining physiological diversity. Thermal tolerance was found to be stable within a population, but extensive variation occurred between populations and species. All species examined displayed heat-coma values of ∼30 °C and did not show a positive correlation with shore height. Eulittoral-fringe species tended to have higher coma temperatures than eulittoral species. Coma temperatures varied both seasonally and geographically. Lethal thermal limits were also investigated; these were ∼10 C° higher than coma temperatures.
KeywordsMollusca Physiological Diversity Thermal Tolerance Extensive Variation Gastropoda
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