Zvonareva S.S.; Deart Yu.V.; Lischenko F.V.; Dinh H.T.Y.; Nguyen T.T.; Mekhova E.S.;
geometric morphometry; predation risk; octocorals; phenotypic plasticity; Ovulidae; turbidity;
pp. 99 -

This study investigates the shell variability of Phenacovolva rosea, a symbiotic gastropod inhabiting octocorals, in relation to geographical location and host coral species. We analyzed shells from 53 adult specimens collected at three locations in the north of Vietnam and one in the vicinities of Nha Trang City (southern Vietnam).

To describe the shells' outlines, elliptical Fourier descriptors were applied. Based on the shell outline data, principal component analysis was performed. Additionally, height and width of P. rosea shells were measured. Only the first two principal components were effective, with the first principal component accounting for 92.8% of the variation. It closely correlated with width-to-height ratio of shells. According to dispersion analysis (ANOVA), shells in Nha Trang were significantly slimmer with longer terminal processes compared to those from the three northern locations. The coral host species also impacted shell shape when considering the entire dataset. However, this difference may have stemmed from shell variations between locations, as coral composition is not independent of location. When regional samples were analyzed separately, no significant impact of the host was detected.

The factors that differed between northern locations and Nha Trang were then discussed, along with the mechanisms underlying their influence. We suggest that predation risk, influenced by water turbidity, is greater in the clearer waters of Nha Trang. This increased predator pressure may explain the presence of long terminals on P. rosea shells found in Nha Trang, potentially providing protection against some fish predators. Furthermore, the shorter and wider shells found in northern locations may be advantageous in waters with higher current speeds, whereas the long-teminal shells with narrow apertures observed in Nha Trang may be better suited for slower currents. The climate disparity, encompassing temperature and salinity mediated through precipitation, could also potentially influence shell morphology. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear due to the complex nature of these interactions and the scarcity of literature data.

Isolating host-specific shell shape traits from other factors proved challenging, given the close association between host species composition and location. Laboratory experiments modeling each factor independently may provide a solution to this issue.

Изменчивость формы раковины симбиотического брюхоного моллюска Phenacovolva rosea во Вьетнаме
Звонарева С.С.; Деарт Ю.В.; Лищенко Ф.В.; Динь Йен Х.Т.; Нгуйен Ту Т.; Мехова Е.С.;