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The larval ecology of prosobranch gastropods, which ranges from long pelagic plankto-trophic life histories to directly developing lecithotrophic ones, has a strong influence on larval dispersion. Because of low migrative ability in the post-larval stage, gastropod distribution must depend fundamentally on larval dispersion. It is probable that the modes of larval dispersion relate importantly to the mechanism by which prosobranch populations become isolated, and consequently to their modes of speciation. This idea is applicable for analysis of fossil material, for both biological and oceanographical information.