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Love Thy Neighbour: Group Properties of Gaping Behaviour in Mussel Aggregations.

作者:K.R. Nicastro, G.I. Zardi, C.D. McQuaid, G.A. Pearson, E.A. Serrão,
出版單位:Public Library of Science
核准日期:2012-10-16
類型:Article PeerReviewed

英文摘要

By associating closely with others to form a group, an animal can benefit from a number of advantages including reduced
risk of predation, amelioration of environmental conditions, and increased reproductive success, but at the price of reduced
resources. Although made up of individual members, an aggregation often displays novel effects that do not manifest at the
level of the individual organism. Here we show that very simple behaviour in intertidal mussels shows new effects in dense
aggregations but not in isolated individuals. Perna perna and Mytilus galloprovincialis are gaping (periodic valve movement
during emersion) and non-gaping mussels respectively. P. perna gaping behaviour had no effect on body temperatures of
isolated individuals, while it led to increased humidity and decreased temperatures in dense groups (beds). Gaping resulted
in cooler body temperatures for P. perna than M. galloprovincialis when in aggregations, while solitary individuals exhibited
the highest temperatures. Gradients of increasing body temperature were detected from the center to edges of beds, but
M. galloprovincialis at the edge had the same temperature as isolated individuals. Furthermore, a field study showed that
during periods of severe heat stress, mortality rates of mussels within beds of the gaping P. perna were lower than those of
isolated individuals or within beds of M. galloprovincialis, highlighting the determinant role of gaping on fitness and group
functioning. We demonstrate that new effects of very simple individual behaviour lead to amelioration of abiotic conditions
at the aggregation level and that these effects increase mussel resistance to thermal stress.


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