Ecology of Atlantic Shores

Clark University Fall 2008

Lisa Kennedy



 To escape the inevitable cold that accompanies autumn in New England, students and professors in the Ecology of Atlantic Shores traveled to Bermuda to further their study of coastal environments. After half a week of introduction to the flora, fauna, and landscapes of Bermuda, students (on rented mopeds) embarked on their separate research projects.  While at Spittal Pond, a nature preserve in Bermuda, I
noticed hundreds of tiny3 Batillaria minima black snails called Batillaria minima. It was a hot, sunny day and      
many of the snails were aggregated around rocks. Because the tide pool was not receiving any input from the ocean and there was not much shade available, the water in the tide pool was quite warm. From these observations, I postulated that the snails were aggregating around the rocks in an effort to keep their temperature cooler. This pattern is similar to aggregation patterns seen in Littorina unifasciata.  This species aggregates to decrease  the effects of dessication.  Because the aggregations were not uniform, I wondered what types of rocks the snails might prefer.  My experiment used rocks of different shapes, sizes and colors. I left them for 24 hours to see which rocks the snails preferred and how the rocks would affect their aggregation patterns. After three days of observations of snail aggregations on the five rocks, I found that the heaviest congregation of snails was under the rocks. The B. minima were found most often on top of darker rocks and in heavier concentration (proportionate to size) around small rocks.


                                                                                                                                                Batillaria minima Click Here for Background



To view information on my research product conducted in Nahant please click here.