Reproduction of the intertidal barnacle <i>Balanus glandula</i> along an estuarine gradient

TitleReproduction of the intertidal barnacle Balanus glandula along an estuarine gradient
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsBerger, M. S.
Refereed DesignationRefereed
JournalMarine Ecology
Pagination346 - 353
Date Published09/2009

The barnacle Balanus glandula is predominantly an open coast species in the Northeast Pacific. However, B. glandula densely inhabits estuaries where environmental conditions such as salinity and temperature drastically differ from the open coast. The increased variability of environmental conditions within an estuary can potentially affect spatial patterns of reproduction in B. glandula. I examined gonad maturity, reproductive periodicity and fecundity, and then calculated reproductive output in B. glandula populations distributed along an estuarine gradient. Results indicated that reproductive output of this intertidal barnacle decreased four times over a spatial scale of kilometers, as a transition occurred from a marine to a freshwater habitat along an estuarine gradient. Additionally, a higher proportion of the population had well-developed gonads in the oceanic end of the estuary compared to the riverine end. These results indicate how reproductive pattern can significantly vary over a spatial scale of kilometers, resulting in site-specific contributions of offspring to the larval pool.