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Recruitment density can determine adult morphology and fecundity in the barnacle, Semibalanus balanoides

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jeremy Hills, Dr Jeremy Thomason


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Although consequences of the settlement preference of larvae have been well documented, the consequence of these settlement choices on subsequent mortality, morphology and fecundity has been little studied. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between recruit and adult density and to determine the effect of recruitment on adult morphology and egg tissue mass. This study follows 48718 barnacles (Semibalanus balanoides) from recruitment at the end of the settling season to reproductively mature adults at a field site in the Clyde Sea (UK). Overall survivorship of the recruits to adulthood was 8.5%, although survivorship was up to 42% on low density settlement panels. In low density colonies (<10 recruits cm-2), recruitment density was related to adult density (P<0.001), whereas no relationship was found for higher density colonies. A shell morphology index measured at adulthood was related to recruitment density for low density recruited colonies (P<0.001) but not high density colonies. Using ANCOVA, variations between the colonies in shell and egg tissue mass were not explained by mass of somatic tissue. However, egg mass was explained by recruitment density (P<0.01). These results show that adult density is not a reliable indicator of the previous population density of the colony. Moreover, there are marked differences in population development between colonies with high and low recruit densities in terms of impact upon shell morphology and egg production. The dynamics that operate between recruits at the end of the settlement season and sexually mature adults to create the patterns elucidated in this paper, and other literature, remain unclear.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hills JM, Thomason JC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biofouling

Year: 2003

Volume: 19

Issue: 3

Pages: 205-213

Print publication date: 01/06/2003

ISSN (print): 0892-7014

ISSN (electronic): 1026-7867

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd.


DOI: 10.1080/0892701031000064667

PubMed id: 14619289


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