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Ecology of Some Experimental Populations of the Landsnail Cepaea Nemoralis (L). I. Adult Numbers and Adult Mortality

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

The fluctuation in the number of adult individuals in a series of eight experimental populations of the landsnail Cepaea nemoralis (L.) is described. Adult mortality was large compared with what is known about other populations of Cepaea and mainly caused by predation by the songthrush Turdus ericetorum. Mortality was not density-dependent. The older the adults, the lower were their chances to survive, both because the thrushes selected for age and, possibly, because of a chalk shortage which lead to cannibalism. Reasons are given why it is thought that adult mortality, although it will affect fluctuations in numbers, may be unimportant relative to effects of other processes in the population.

Affiliations: 1: Zoological Laboratory, University of Groningen, Haren (Gron.), The Netherlands


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