Physiological and behavioural responses of the intertidal scavenging gastropod Nassarius festivus to salinity changes

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-307
Journal / PublicationMarine Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997


Physiology (oxygen consumption and ammonia excretion) and behaviour (feeding and activity) of the intertidal gastropod Nassarius festivus (Powys) at five different salinities [15, 20, 25 (control), 30 and 35%] were studied for 4 weeks. Oxygen consumption and ammonia excretion rates were reduced immediately after salinity was either elevated or reduced. Subsequently, both rates were increased while the O:N ratio was decreased at all salinities, including the control, in the first 2 weeks and then levelled off. Such changes were probably attributed to osmotic adjustment and reproductive activity. Activity and feeding were reduced at low salinity, particularly in the first week. Reproductive output, in terms of the total number of egg capsules and the mean number of eggs per capsules, was also lowered at reduced salinities. Nevertheless, individuals at all salinities are able to maintain a positive energy balance. Results are discussed with respect to the distribution of N. festivus in Hong Kong waters.