The living community inside the common periwinkle, Littorina littorea
Source: Canadian Journal of Zoology, Volume 91, Number 5, 01 2013 , pp. 293-301(9)
Publisher: NRC Research Press
Abstract:An extensive community of organisms inhabits the common periwinkle, Littorina littorea (L., 1758), along the wave-swept rocky shores of Canada’s East coast. This community, which includes both facultative and obligate endosymbionts, comprises a diverse array of species from seven animal phyla, including Annelida, Arthropoda, Gnathostomulida, Nematoda, Nemertea, and Platyhelminthes, as well as ciliates and algae. The presence of larger numbers of endosymbionts was found to correlate with specific shell characteristics of the snail host, including a wider aperture and columella, suggesting that these individuals have a larger mantle cavity relative to snails housing a small community of endosymbionts. Snails with large communities of endosymbionts were usually encrusted with coralline algae and often had trematode infections. Although L. littorea has been extensively studied since the last century, the existence of this community of organisms has passed unnoticed. The large diversity of organisms in this community suggests that these snails may provide refugia for a wide range of smaller taxa.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2013
- Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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