Size-dependent shell growth and survival in natural populations of the rock-dwelling land snail chondrina clienta

Dénes Schmera, Anette Baur, Bruno Baur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Rock-dwelling land snails, feeding on algae and lichens that grow on stone surfaces, may influence the structure and function of these ecosystems. Yet, little is known about the life history of rock-dwelling snails. We performed a 30-month mark–release–resight study in four populations of Chondrina clienta (Westerlund, 1883) inhabiting vertical walls of abandoned limestone quarries on the Baltic island of Öland, Sweden, to assess growth rate and survival of juvenile snails and determine age at maturity. We marked 800 individuals ranging in shell height from 1.4 to 4.9 mm, released them in their original habitat, and remeasured their shell height at intervals of 6 months. Shell growth of juvenile C. clienta was affected by the site (quarry wall) and the size of the individual, being highest in medium-sized snails. Shell growth occurred during both summer and winter. Annual apparent survival rates of C. clienta were size-dependent and ranged from 58.6% to 96.3%. Sexual maturity was reached at an age of 5 years, which is later than in most large snail species. Our study extends current knowledge on life history of land snails to a rarely studied group dwelling on rock surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-410
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian journal of zoology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 6 2015


  • Age at maturity
  • Annual survival rate
  • Chondrina clienta
  • Individual growth
  • Life history
  • Rock-dwelling land snail
  • Terrestrial gastropod

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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