Spatial variation in larval concentrations as a cause of spatial variation in settlement for the barnacle, Balanus glandula

TitleSpatial variation in larval concentrations as a cause of spatial variation in settlement for the barnacle, Balanus glandula
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1985
AuthorsGaines, S., Brown S., & Roughgarden J.
JournalOecologia
Volume67
Issue2
Pagination267 - 272
Date Published9/1985
ISSN1432-1939
Abstract

Settlement rates of the high intertidal barnacle, Balanus glandula, were monitored at three sites in the rocky intertidal zone in Central California simultaneously with measurements of larval concentrations in the adjacent water column. In both 1983 and 1984, settlement rates onto vacant substrate differed among the sites by nearly two orders of magnitude. For all sampling dates, this spatial variation in settlement mirrored the spatial distribution of Balanus glandula cyprid concentration in the water column. A perfect rank correlation was found between cyprid concentrations near a site and subsequent settlement. A noteworthy observation was that the sites switched rank in their settlement rates from 1983 to 1984. This change in settlement rankings matched a switch in rankings for cyprid concentrations.
Settlement itself appears to be an important cause of the spatial pattern of cyprid concentrations. Comparing the rates of settlement to estimates of the number of cyprids available at a site suggests that settlement causes a large drain on the cyprid population as a water mass passes over successive sites. No consistent spatial patterns were found in the distribution of other major plankton groups (calanoid copepods) that are similar in size to Balanus cyprids but do not settle.
The large differences in settlement rates among these sites were previously shown to be a leading cause of large differences in the structure of benthic barnacle populations. The close correspondence shown here between these large differences in settlement and differences in larval concentrations suggests that nearshore oceanic processes affecting larval arrival contribute to the control of benthic community structure.

DOI10.1007/BF00384297
Short TitleOecologia