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Free Content Effects of a freezing event during hibernation on further survival, reproduction and growth in the partially freezing tolerant land snail Helix aspersa Müller (Gastropoda: Helicidae)

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Tolerance of ectothermic animals to freezing is often estimated by assessing survival a few days after the treatment. However, in the long term, ice formation in the body tissues can affect survival, as well as reproductive capability and growth. The land snail Helix aspersa survives only short durations with ice in its tissues, to a lethal limit of 40 to 60 % of its body water frozen. Adult and immature snails were treated during their winter dormancy period to a freezing event above this limit; their survival was observed both in the short and long term, as well as their ability to reproduce (adults) and grow (immature snails). Treated snails were compared with a control group, which was not frozen. No difference appeared in the survival, reproduction and growth of control and frozen snails. This study confirms partial freezing tolerance in this population of Helix aspersa.

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Keywords: COLD HARDINESS; FREEZING TOLERANCE; GROWTH; HELIX ASPERSA; REPRODUCTION; SURVIVAL

Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: July 1, 2002

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  • CryoLetters is a bimonthly international journal for low temperature sciences, including cryobiology, cryopreservation or vitrification of cells and tissues, chemical and physical aspects of freezing and drying, and studies involving ecology of cold environments, and cold adaptation

    The journal publishes original research reports, authoritative reviews, technical developments and commissioned book reviews of studies of the effects produced by low temperatures on a wide variety of scientific and technical processes, or those involving low temperature techniques in the investigation of physical, chemical, biological and ecological problems.

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