By R. C. Newell (Eds.)
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Extra info for Adaptation to Environment. Essays on the Physiology of Marine Animals
Animals which do not adjust their upper limits of thermal tolerance may thus be those which are denied a regular change in environmental temperature such as occur on the lower shore. In this case an alternative strategy might involve the maintenance of a fixed upper limit of thermal tolerance which is only marginally affected by seasonal adjustment to low temperatures. Clearly, a good deal more information is required before we are in a position to more than outline the basic strategies which might be involved in meeting the seasonal changes in environmental conditions which occur in the intertidal zone.
The water was aerated and stirred and soon the animals started to rasp the algae from the glass plate by means of the radula. These radular movements could be counted after observation with a hand lens (see also Cornelius, 1972). Meanwhile the incoming tide reached another part of the shore where the natural population was uncovered for 5V2 h per tidal cycle. Additional animals were collected from this position and again immersed in another aquarium of seawater in the laboratory. The feeding rate was recorded as before.
Equally in species with overlapping distribution on the shore, differences in thermal tolerance were related to conditions in the microhabitats which they select. Sassaman and Mangum (1970) have also demonstrated that the southern distribution of three different species of North Atlantic sea anemones is correlated with their lethal temperature. The main problem in any interpretation of the ecological relevance of such studies is that: 1. The heat-lethal temperatures obtained experimentally appear to be much higher than the actual environmental temperatures recorded, which suggests that these tolerances may not limit distribution on the shore.