Salt marsh colonization by a rocky shore invader: Balanus glandula Darwin (1854) spreads along the Patagonian coast

TitleSalt marsh colonization by a rocky shore invader: Balanus glandula Darwin (1854) spreads along the Patagonian coast
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsSchwindt, E., Bortolus A., Idaszkin Y. L., Savoya V., & (Pitu) Méndez M. M.
JournalBiological Invasions
Volume11
Issue6
Pagination1259 - 1265
Date Published6/2009
ISSN1573-1464
Abstract

Balanus glandula, an east Pacific acorn barnacle from rocky shores, was introduced to Mar del Plata, Argentina more than 40 years ago and has spread over 17 latitudinal degrees southward. Here we report the first record of this species living in a soft-bottom environment colonizing the salt marsh plant species Limonium brasiliense, Spartina densiflora, S. alterniflora and Sarcocornia perennis. In addition, we describe the size frequency distribution, density and spatial distribution of the barnacles colonizing the different plant species. The size frequency distribution of Balanus showed a bimodal pattern in all plants. Barnacles were mostly large in S. densiflora, but small in S. alterniflora, with more balanced distributions of small and large barnacles on S. perennis and L. brasiliense. The highest density of barnacles was observed on S. perennis (x = 35.8 ind/cm2, SD = 40.5) and S. alterniflora (x = 33.8 ind/cm2, SD = 23), while the lowest on L. brasiliense (x = 1.5 ind/cm2, SD = 1.18) and S. densiflora (x = 0.17 ind/cm2, SD = 0.09). More than 90% of the barnacles on any given plant were found living. While barnacles colonized only the first few centimeters above the soil surface level in S. alterniflora and L. brasiliense, they reached their highest point on S. perennis. The finding of a rocky shore species successfully colonizing soft-bottom marshes within an invaded region brings new perspectives to discussions in biological invasion ecology, and raises additional considerations for coastal environmental management.

DOI10.1007/s10530-008-9344-9
Short TitleBiol Invasions