The effect of environmental factors on shell growth and repair in Buccinum undatum

The processes and factors which affect shell growth and repair in molluscs are poorly understood. In this study, the capabilities of shell growth and repair in the marine gastropod Buccinum undatum were investigated experimentally by implementing laboratory-controlled mechanical damage to the shell margin/lip. Three key factors, life stage (juvenile or adult), seawater temperature (5–15 °C) and food availability (unfed, weekly, or daily feeding), were investigated in a series of controlled laboratory experiments to establish their roles in the processes of shell growth and repair. Significant differences in rates of shell growth and repair between food and temperature regimes were observed, with the greatest difference occurring with different life stages. Rates of shell growth in non-damaged whelks were slightly faster but not significantly different from damaged individuals in any of the experiments. Tank-reared juveniles maintained in the highest seawater temperature regime (15 °C) displayed significantly faster rates of shell repair (F = 6.47, p < 0.05) than conspecifics held at lower seawater temperatures. Through characterising both biological and environmental factors affecting shell growth and repair, it is demonstrated that there are multiple aspects influencing shell growth and shell repair. It is important to be able to understand and establish differences in rates of growth to better manage this commercial species.


Publication status:
Authors: Colvin, C.N., Hollyman, P.R. ORCIDORCID record for P.R. Hollyman, Richardson, C.A., Chenery, S.R.N., Waggitt, J.J., McCarthy, I.D.

On this site: Philip Hollyman
1 June, 2022
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology / 551
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