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The Relationship between Shell Morphology and Microhabitat Flow in the Endemic Hawaiian Stream Limpet (Hihiwai), Neritina granosa (Prosobranchia: Neritidae)

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Title: The Relationship between Shell Morphology and Microhabitat Flow in the Endemic Hawaiian Stream Limpet (Hihiwai), Neritina granosa (Prosobranchia: Neritidae)
Authors: Way, Carl M.
Burky, Albert J.
Lee, Michael T.
Issue Date: Jul 1993
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Citation: Way CM, Burky AJ, Lee MT. 1993. The relationship between shell morphology and microhabitat flow in the endemic Hawaiian stream limpet (Hihiwai), Neritina granosa (Prosobranchia: Neritidae). Pac Sci 47(3): 263-275.
Abstract: The Hawaiian stream limpet, Neritina granosa Sowerby, has three
shell morphologies: conic (smooth, narrow shell), intermediate (rugose, narrow
shell), and winged (flattened, rugose, and flared shell margin). We studied the
relationship between shell morphology and water flow in a laboratory flume
and in populations from Palauhulu Stream, Maui. Winged morphs represented
82% of the population at the mouth below the terminal waterfall. At sites
above the falls, conic and intermediate morphs dominated. Limpets from the
mouth had significantly lower shell-length/shell-width and body-weight/shellweight
ratios and occurred in areas of lower benthic and surface velocities
than upstream populations. Field determinations of velocities (measured with a
thermistor-based microcurrent meter) around individual N. granosa in the field
that were oriented parallel to flow demonstrated that conic and intermediate
morphs experienced significantly less drag than winged morphs; there was no
significant effect when shells were oriented perpendicular to flow. In a laboratory
flume, conic and intermediate shells oriented parallel to flow exhibited significantly
greater lift and less drag than a winged morph. There was no significant
difference in lift and drag for conic and winged morphs in a perpendicular
orientation. Because field orientation of the three shell morphs is unpredictable,
we hypothesize that microhabitat flow has little or no effect on the phenotypic
expression of shell morphology in N. granosa. We feel that the transition between
winged and conic/intermediate morphs in upstream populations is restricted by
bioenergetic constraints on the partitioning of energy between the competing
demands of shell and tissue growth.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 47, Number 3, 1993

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