A comparison of variability in size dimensions of intertidal and subtidal mussels (Mytilus edulis) (Mollusca: Bivahia)



Variability in size dimensions of bivalve species has previously been claimed (1) to decrease with size and (2) to be greater for individuals in an intertidal habitat than in a subtidal habitat. Results from this study showed that the decrease in variability with size was an artifact of the techniques previously used, and that variability was the same for all sizes of Mytilus edulis. The previous study utilized an interspecific comparison to examine the effects of habitat on variability, which is considered unacceptable because differences in variability are likely to be a consequence of species differences rather than the effects of different habitats. Results presented here from the intraspecific comparison of M. edulis showed that variability was the same for mussels from an intertidal habitat and from a subtidal habitat.