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Modulation of gregarious settlement of the stalked barnacle, Pollicipes pollicipes: a laboratory study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sofia Franco, Dr Nicholas Aldred, Professor Tony Clare



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Although recruitment patterns of Pollicipes pollicipes (Crustacea: Scalpelliformes) in the wild have been investigated, no studies have yet focused on the factors that affect settlement. In the present paper, settlement of P. pollicipes on conspecifics (gregarious settlement) was investigated in the laboratory as a function of environmental conditions (hydrodynamics, temperature, light and salinity), larval age and batch. This study aimed to understand how these factors modulate settlement in the laboratory and elucidate how they might impact recruitment patterns in nature. Maximum attachment on adults was 30-35%, with a one-week metamorphosis rate of 70-80%. Batch differences affected both attachment and metamorphosis. Attachment rate was higher at natural salinity (30-40 psu), with lower salinity (20 psu) decreasing metamorphosis rate. Cyprid attachment was stimulated by light conditions and circulating water. This might relate to a preference for positioning high in the water column in nature, but also to increased cyprid-surface contact in conditions of circulating water. Older cyprids (3 or 6 days) showed higher attachment than un-aged larvae, though fewer 6-day-old larvae metamorphosed. Temperature did not affect attachment rate, but the metamorphosis rate decreased at 14°C (compared with 17 or 20°C), implying that differences in temperature during the breeding season can affect how quickly cyprids metamorphose to the juvenile. Cyprids survived for prolonged periods (≥20 days; 40% survival), likely due to efficient energy saving by intercalating long periods of inactivity with fast bursts of activity upon stimulation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Franco SC, Aldred N, Cruz T, Clare AS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scientia Marina

Year: 2016

Volume: 80

Issue: 2

Pages: 217-228

Online publication date: 03/06/2016

Acceptance date: 04/04/2016

Date deposited: 15/06/2016

ISSN (print): 0214-8358

ISSN (electronic): 1886-8134

Publisher: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas


DOI: 10.3989/scimar.04342.01A


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Funder referenceFunder name
Programa Operacional Potencial Humano (POPH-QREN)
European Social Fund (ESF, European Union)
N00014-13-1-0634Office of Naval Research Grant
N00014-08-1-1240Office of Naval Research Grant
N00014-13-1-0633Office of Naval Research Grant
SFRH/BD/63998/2009Fundacao para a Ciencia e Tecnologia