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Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 314B, 4 (2010) 303-326
Growth-dependent phenotypic variation of molluscan shells : implications for allometric data interpretation
Séverine Urdy 1, Nicolas Goudemand 1, Hugo Bucher 2, Régis Chirat 3
(06/2010)

In recent years, developmental plasticity has received increasing attention. Specifically, some studies highlighted a possible association between shell shape and growth rates in intertidal gastropods. We use a growth vector model to study how hypothetical growth processes could underlie developmental plasticity in molluscs. It illustrates that variation in instantaneous shell growth rate can induce variability in allometric curves. Consequently, morphological variation is time-dependent. Basing our model parameters on a study documenting the results of transplants experiments of three gastropods ecomorphs, we reproduce the main aspects of the variation in size, shape, and growth rates among populations when bred in their own habitat or transplanted to another ecotype habitat. In agreement with empirical results, our simulation shows that a flatter growth profile corresponds to conditions of rapid growth. The model also allows the comparison of allometric slopes using different subdata sets that correspond to static and ontogenetic allometry. Our model highlights that depending on subdata sets, the "main effects" could be attributed to source population or environment. In addition, convergence or divergence of allometric slopes is observed depending on the subdata sets. Although there is evidence that shell shape in gastropods is to some extent growth rate dependent, gaining a general overview of the issue is challenging, in particular because of the scarcity of studies referring to allometry. We argue that the dynamics of development at the "phenotypic level" constitute a non-reducible level of investigation if one seeks to relate the observed amount of phenotypic variation to variability in the underlying factors.
1 :  Paläontologisches Institut und Museum
Universität Zürich
2 :  Paläontologisches Institut und Museum,
Universität Zürich
3 :  Paléoenvironnement et paléobiosphère (PP)
CNRS : UMR5125 – INSU – Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I
Planète et Univers/Sciences de la Terre

Sciences du Vivant/Autre
BEMBICIUM-VITTATUM PHILIPPI – LITTORINA-SAXATILIS OLIVI – STAGNALIS L. INDIVIDUALS – NUCELLA-LAPILLUS L – NEW-SOUTH-WALES – INTERTIDAL SNAIL – ECOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE – MARINE GASTROPOD – TREMATODE LARVAE – SHAPE VARIATION