The energetic costs of living in the surf and impacts on zonation of shell use in hermit crabs

Data of the manuscript: The energetic costs of living in the surf and impacts on zonation of shell used in hermit crabs. The files include data shell size occupied by the hermit crab Calcinus californiensis in wave-exposed and protected areas. We investigated if a behavioral choice could explain the size of two shells (Nerita scabricosta and Stramonita biserialis) used in sites with different wave action; thus, data of shell size preference in static and bidirectional water flow. Then, we experimentally tested if the shells most frequently used in sites with different wave action reduce the energetic cost of coping with water flow. The files include data of the metabolic rate (Standard Metabolic Rate, Resting Metabolic Rate), and the energetic cost to cope with bidirectional water flows. The measures were taken using a respirometric system fitted with propellers in opposite walls to generate bidirectional water flow. The data shows that the choice of shell size was consistent with the shell size used in different intertidal sites; hermit crabs chose heavier conical shells in water flow conditions than in still water, and the use of heavy conical shells reduced the energetic cost of coping with water motion. In contrast to conical shells (Stramonita), small globose shells (Nerita) imposed lower energy costs of withstanding water flow than large globose shells. The size and type of shells used in different zones of the rocky shore were consistent with an adaptive response to reduce the energetic costs of withstanding wave action.

Domain: 
Biological
Resource Type: 
Software or tool development phase: 
Parent organization: 
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México