MEPS 595:105-122 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12561

Constrained nearshore larval distributions and thermal stratification

Malloree L. Hagerty1,*, Nathalie Reyns1, Jesús Pineda2

1Environmental and Ocean Sciences Department, University of San Diego, San Diego, California 92110, USA
2Biology Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Vertical and cross-shore distributions and abundances of shallow-water barnacle larvae were characterized in La Jolla, southern California (USA), during a 2 yr period. Five stations located within 1 km of shore and ranging from 4-12 m water depths were sampled intensively in 2 m depth intervals during 27 cruises throughout spring-summer (April-July) and fall-winter (October-December) of 2014 and 2015. Larval abundances significantly decreased from 2014 to 2015, which could be related to the arrival of a warm-water anomaly (the so-called ‘Blob’) in 2014 and El Niño conditions in 2015. Despite the presence of these large-scale regional disturbances, vertical and cross-shore larval distributions were consistent throughout the 2 yr study period. Early-stage nauplii and Chthamalus fissus cyprids tracked bottom depth, and cyprids were on average deeper than nauplii. Vertical distributions were not related to the mid-depth of the thermocline or thermal stratification. Early-stage nauplii had a broader cross-shore distribution than cyprids, which were concentrated at inshore stations. Nearshore cyprid concentration had a positive relationship with thermal stratification, and the center of distribution of cyprids was farther offshore during fall-winter when stratification decreased. These results suggest that thermal stratification elicits enhanced behavioral control of cyprids to remain close to shore and reach the adult habitat.


KEY WORDS: Barnacle larvae · Chthamalus fissus · Early-stage nauplii · Cyprids · Hydrographic and hydrodynamic conditions


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Cite this article as: Hagerty ML, Reyns N, Pineda J (2018) Constrained nearshore larval distributions and thermal stratification. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 595:105-122. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12561

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