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Title Thermal Traits Vary with Mass and across Populations of the Marsh Periwinkle, Littoraria irrorata
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Physiological processes influence how individuals perform in various environmental contexts. The basis of such processes, metabolism, scales allometrically with body mass and nonlinearly with temperature, as described by a thermal performance curve. Past studies of thermal performance curves tend to focus on effects of temperature on a single body size or population, rather than variation in the thermal performance curve across sizes and populations. Here, we estimate intraspecific variation in parameters of the thermal performance curve in the salt marsh gastropod Littoraria irrorata. First, we quantify the thermal performance curve for respiration rate as a function of both temperature and body size in Littoraria and evaluate whether the thermal parameters and body size scaling are interdependent. Next, we quantify how parameters in the thermal performance curve for feeding rate vary between three Littoraria populations that occur along a latitudinal gradient. Our work suggests that the thermal traits describing Littoraria respiration are dependent on body mass and that both the thermal traits and the mass scaling of feeding vary across sites. We found limited evidence to suggest that mass scaling of Littoraria feeding or respiration rates depends on temperature. Variation in the thermal performance curves interacts with the size structure of the Littoraria population to generate divergent population-level responses to temperature. These results highlight the importance of considering variation in population size structure and physiological allometry when attempting to predict how temperature change will affect physiological responses and consumer-resource interactions.

Contributors Rebecca Atkins, Kathleen Clancy, William Ellis and Craig W. Osenberg

Atkins, R., Clancy, K., Ellis, W. and Osenberg, C.W. 2022. Thermal Traits Vary with Mass and across Populations of the Marsh Periwinkle, Littoraria irrorata. The Biological Bulletin. 242(3):173-196. (DOI: 10.1086/719850)

Key Words Littoraria irrorata, marsh, periwinkle, populations, Student Publication
File Date 2022
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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants OCE-9982133, OCE-0620959, OCE-1237140 and OCE-1832178. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.