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Nicastro et al. BMC Ecology 2010, 10:17 http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6785/10/17

Summary: Nicastro et al. BMC Ecology 2010, 10:17
2010 Nicastro et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in
any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Research article
The role of gaping behaviour in habitat
partitioning between coexisting intertidal mussels
Katy R Nicastro1,2, Gerardo I Zardi*1,2, Christopher D McQuaid2, Linda Stephens3, Sarah Radloff4 and
Gregory L Blatch3
Background: Environmental heterogeneity plays a major role in invasion and coexistence dynamics. Habitat
segregation between introduced species and their native competitors is usually described in terms of different
physiological and behavioural abilities. However little attention has been paid to the effects of behaviour in habitat
partitioning among invertebrates, partially because their behavioural repertoires, especially marine benthic taxa, are
extremely limited. This study investigates the effect of gaping behaviour on habitat segregation of the two dominant
mussel species living in South Africa, the invasive Mytilus galloprovincialis and the indigenous Perna perna. These two
species show partial habitat segregation on the south coast of South Africa, the lower and upper areas of the mussel
zone are dominated by P. perna and M. galloprovincialis respectively, with overlap in the middle zone. During


Source: Alberto, Filipe - Centro de Ciencias do Mar, Universidade do Algarve


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Biology and Medicine