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Temporal and spatial trends in drilling predation on Crepidula in the U.S. coastal plain

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Heyward M. Key (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site: http://library.uncw.edu/
Advisor
Patricia Kelley

Abstract: A comprehensive study of drilling predation by naticid and muricid gastropods on prey species belonging to the gastropod genus Crepidula was conducted for Plio-Pleistocene mollusc assemblages from the Atlantic Coastal Plain of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and from the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain of Florida. Muricid and naticid drilling frequencies in the study area steadily decreased from the middle Pliocene to the late Pliocene and then rose significantly into the Pleistocene, following the Plio-Pleistocene mass extinction. Spatial comparisons of drilling frequencies revealed that drilling predation was more intense in higher latitudes than in lower latitudes. Drilling frequencies on Crepidula were inversely correlated with prey effectiveness (the ratio of incomplete drillholes to total attempted drillholes). Prey effectiveness gradually increased in the Pliocene and decreased significantly following the Plio- Pleistocene extinction. Prey effectiveness was generally higher in lower latitudes than in higher latitudes. Temporal and spatial trends in predation intensity and prey effectiveness appear to be influenced by competition. Low drilling frequencies and high prey effectiveness were correlated with intense competition because competition increases the likelihood of drilling being interrupted. Muricids and naticids were highly selective with respect to drillhole site on the prey’s shell for Pliocene and Pleistocene samples in both of the study areas. Predator-prey interaction between drilling muricid and naticid gastropods and the gastropod genus Crepidula provided some evidence for escalation, but did not support coevolution.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science
Language: English
Date: 2009
Keywords
Geology--Florida, Geology--North Carolina, Geology--Pleistocene, Geology--South Carolina, Geology--Virginia, Geology, Stratigraphic--Pliocene
Subjects
Geology, Stratigraphic -- Pliocene
Geology -- Pleistocene
Geology -- Virginia
Geology -- North Carolina
Geology -- South Carolina
Geology -- Florida