Effects of Lunatia heros Predation on the Population Dynamics of Mya arenaria and Macoma balthica in Maine, USA
The interaction between the naticid snail predator Lunatia heros and 2 iteroparous, infaunal, intertidal bivalves was investigated in Lubec, Maine, USA. The Mya arenaria population consists primarily of young, small individuals. M. arenaria survivorship is low when young (3.5% yr-1 for the first 5 yr), then increases. M. arenaria can attain a length of 60 mm, but it is susceptible to L. heros attack only until it is 30 mm long. It delays reproduction until it is 20 mm long (3.8 yr) and diverts its resources instead into rapid early growth (4.9 mm yr-1 for the first 5 yr). The Macoma balthica population has a larger proportion of older individuals than does that of M. arenaria. Survivorship is higher for M. balthica than for M. arenaria (76.3% yr-1 for the first 5 yr). Unlike M. arenaria, M. balthica attains a final length of only 25 mm and all sizes are susceptible to L. heros attack. M. balthica grows slowly (2.7 mm yr-1 for the first 5 yr) and diverts its resources into earlier reproduction at a length of 10 mm (2.9 yr). These contrasting life-history patterns and the possible relationship between bivalve resource allocation and refuges from predation are discussed.
Commito, John A. "Effects of Lunatia heros Predation on the Population Dynamics of Mya arenaria and Macoma balthica in Maine, USA," Marine Biology 69.2 (August 1982), 187-193.