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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 414:155-165 (2010)  -  DOI:

Retention-favorable timing of propagule release in barnacles and periwinkles

M. Bueno1, G. A. O. Moser2, B. R. C. Tocci2, A. A. V. Flores1,*

1Centro de Biologia Marinha, Universidade de São Paulo, Rodovia Manoel Hipólito do Rego, Km 131,5, CEP 11600-000, São Sebastião, SP, Brazil
2Faculdade de Oceanografia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Av. Francisco Xavier, 524, 4° andar, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Recent studies on the ecology of marine larvae suggest that retention near coastal areas and self-recruitment are probably much more common than previously thought. In light of this, the advective potential of pelagic stages can be partially determined by the timing of propagule release. We sampled the upper-shore levels of a subtropical coastline in southeastern Brazil to examine the temporal patterns of propagule release for the common barnacle Chthamalus bisinuatus and the periwinkle Nodilittorina lineolata. The release timing in both species was very consistent between sites a few kilometers apart. Barnacles released nauplii in a rhythmic pattern, mostly coinciding with neap tides, when the speed of tidal currents was lowest. There was no variation in propagule release in relation to diel or flood–ebb tidal cycles. Periwinkles released propagules in a very irregular pattern, which remarkably matched a time series of wave heights. Egg capsules were released during periods of rough seas, when onshore surface currents were expected to prevail. Eggs were released mostly during ebb tides, and there was no diel variation. Propagule release rhythms are usually viewed as a means to ensure fast offshore advection, thus avoiding presumed hazardous conditions for larvae. However, propagule release strategies in these upper-shore species would more likely contribute to the retention of offspring close to parental stocks.

KEY WORDS: Reproductive timing · Propagule retention · Rocky shores

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Cite this article as: Bueno M, Moser GAO, Tocci BRC, Flores AAV (2010) Retention-favorable timing of propagule release in barnacles and periwinkles. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 414:155-165.

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