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Salt spray limits the inland penetration of a coastally restricted invertebrate: a field experiment using landhoppers (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Talitridae)


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Richardson, AMM, Swain, R and McCoull, CJ 2000 , 'Salt spray limits the inland penetration of a coastally restricted invertebrate: a field experiment using landhoppers (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Talitridae)' , Functional Ecology, vol. 15, no. 4 , pp. 435-442 , doi: 10.1046/j.0269-8463.2001.00545.x.

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Invertebrates from at least three major groups (crustaceans, gastropods and insects)
have distributions that are restricted to within a few hundred metres of the coast, but
unlike coastal plants there has been little discussion and no tests of the mechanisms
that might control such distributions.
Coastally restricted landhoppers,
Austrotroides maritimus
Friend, were transported
inland of their natural distribution and established in enclosures at a site in far southern
Tasmania. Salt (dry and in solution) was added to these enclosures to test the hypothesis
that this species is confined to the coast by a requirement for salt.
Over 5 months,
A. maritimus
persisted and reproduced in the dry salt treatment, but
numbers remained low or declined in the other treatments.
The addition of salt in solution did not produce the increase in numbers seen in the
dry salt treatment. There was no evidence that non-coastal species declined under the
salt treatments.
The restriction of
A. maritimus
to the coast is explained in terms of its dependence
on a supply of ions from salt spray, rather than a resistance to conditions which other
more competitive species cannot tolerate.
This conclusion is qualified by the possibility that there may be occasional saltconcentrating
events in the coastal zone which raise the salt concentration above the
tolerance levels of non-coastal species.
Coastal landhoppers, in Tasmania at least, are not plesiomorphic members of their
genera, so their distributions appear to be secondary, rather than representing an early
stage in land colonization.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Richardson, AMM and Swain, R and McCoull, CJ
Keywords: Coastal zone, distributional limits
Journal or Publication Title: Functional Ecology
DOI / ID Number: 10.1046/j.0269-8463.2001.00545.x
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