MEPS 137:103-110 (1996)  -  doi:10.3354/meps137103

Wind-driven settlement patterns in the acorn barnacle Semibalanus balanoides

Bertness MD, Gaines SD, Wahle RA

We quantified daily larval settlement of the acorn barnacle Semibalanus balanoides in a small embayment within Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, USA, to examine the hypothesis that local wind patterns influence shoreline settlement. Daily larval settlement and the accumulation of barnacle recruits were both strongly correlated with local wind patterns within and among years. When prevailing winds were out of the south, larval settlement was enhanced on the northern side of the bay, whereas when winds were out of the north, larval settlement was enhanced on the southern side of the bay. These patterns were observed over 2 settlement seasons and led to daily as well as interannual spatial patterns in both larval settlement and the accumulation of barnacle recruits. The patterns of shoreline settlement appear to be caused by wind-induced changes in larval concentrations on different sides of the bay. Water column larval densities were strongly correlated with daily wind patterns. Larval densities were always highest on the down-wind side of the bay. Our data show that spatial and temporal patterns in the settlement of benthic invertebrates can be strongly linked to local weather conditions through the transport of larvae by wind-driven currents.


Dispersal . Larval settlement . Recruitment . Larval transport


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