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1 January 2013 Population Biology of an Intertidal Dorid Nudibranch (Onchidoris muricata) in the Southern Gulf of Maine, U.S.A.: Changes in Phenology Due to an Invasive Prey?
Walter J. Lambert
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Abstract

The invasion of the bryozoan Membranipora membranacea to the Gulf of Maine in 1987 eventually provided an additional prey resource to the dorid nudibranch Onchidoris muricata (Müller, 1776). The impact of this novel prey on the population and reproductive biology of O. muricata was investigated at an intertidal site in the southern Gulf of Maine from January 2005 to October 2009. Nudibranchs were found associated with a variety of bryozoans, with a seasonal shift from Electra pilosa (December to May) to M. membranacea (June to November). Juveniles (< 3 mm) were found in all months except May, June, and July and mature nudibranchs were present in all months. Copulating pairs were observed between lanuary and July and spawn masses were found between March and September on the undersides of rocks usually attached to the surface of bryozoans. The population structure and reproductive phenology of O. muricata at this intertidal site shows changes from historical reports. Whether adaptive change of this native predator to invasive prey species is occurring remains a possibility and emphasizes the need for long-term studies documenting native predators and invasive prey for possible changes in species interactions.

Walter J. Lambert "Population Biology of an Intertidal Dorid Nudibranch (Onchidoris muricata) in the Southern Gulf of Maine, U.S.A.: Changes in Phenology Due to an Invasive Prey?," American Malacological Bulletin 31(1), 17-23, (1 January 2013). https://doi.org/10.4003/006.031.0109
Received: 1 June 2012; Accepted: 1 September 2012; Published: 1 January 2013
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