MEPS 320:233-237 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/meps320233

Timing of successful settlement: demonstration of a recruitment window in the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides

Jesús Pineda1,*, Victoria Starczak1, Todd A. Stueckle2

1Biology Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA
2Present address: PO Box 6057, Department of Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506, USA

ABSTRACT: Recruitment is a key factor in benthic population dynamics, and spatial and temporal processes that affect settlement may determine recruitment; however, temporal processes are not well understood. We tested whether the date that recruits settle is a random sample within the settlement season by measuring daily settlement of the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides throughout the entire settlement season. A total of 2721 barnacle larvae settled during 89 d on 12 quadrats. Individual settlers were tracked to reproductive age (11 mo after settlement); only 8 survived to reproduction. Survivors settled within a narrow 21 d recruitment window, a period shorter than expected by chance. The concept of a recruitment window has broad implications in studying benthic recruitment and population dynamics. Focus on the recruitment window when it is narrow could simplify the study of recruitment, since fewer factors would have to be considered.


KEY WORDS: Recruitment · Settlement · Intertidal ecology · Barnacle


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