Variation in ontogenetic development among individuals may be a major contributor to morphological variation within species. Evolution of different growth trajectories might, for example, evolve as a response to varying ecological contexts of individuals living in different environments, or by life-stage or gender differences. The intertidal periwinkle Littorina saxatilis is strongly polymorphic in shell shape. We compared ontogenetic trajectories between life stages, local populations, and sexes to understand how different morphological end points are reached during ontogeny and what might cause these differences. Applying landmark-based geometric morphometrics, we captured shell shape variation for four Swedish populations of this species. We also derived a method to visualize ontogenetic trajectories described by the relationship of size to the multivariate shape space. We found that growth trajectories differed between individuals living in different habitats, as well as between sexes and maturity stages. Males living on rocky cliffs grew isometrically throughout life, whereas females from the same habitat switched from isometric growth as juveniles to allometric growth as adults. In contrast, males and females living on boulders grew allometrically as juveniles but changed to isometric growth at sexual maturity. Thus, in this species, ontogenetic growth seems influenced by habitat-associated selection as well as by gender and age-specific selection. These differing selection regimes result in ontogenetic shifts in allometry in three of the four groups examined.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.