Herbert, R.J.H. and Hawkins, S.J.
Effect of rock type on the recruitment and early mortality of the barnacle Chthamalus montagui
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 334, (1), . (doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2006.01.023).
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Discontinuities in distribution of sessile species due to changes in available habitat have rarely been investigated. In the English Channel, soft sedimentary rocks including chalk could potentially present a barrier to eastward range extension of the southern barnacle Chthamalus montagui. To test the effect of rock type on recruitment and mortality, prepared settlement tiles of four calcareous rocks that form important platforms close to existing limits of distribution were fixed to the shore at a site in south-west England, known to have consistently high larval settlement. Prior to fixation, the roughness parameter “Ra” and Potential Settlement Sites (PSS) index was measured. Recruitment was monitored photographically on four occasions during the settlement season and subsequent mortality for 7 months after the settlement season. By the end of the settlement season, recruitment on the hard Kimmeridge Cementstone was significantly less than on the other three rock types and attributed to low surface roughness and fewest Potential Settlement Sites (PSS), yet only 28% of variance could be attributed to PSS. Post-recruitment mortality was more variable, however after 7 months there were significant differences between rock types. Simultaneous surveys of post-recruitment mortality in natural populations showed that although recruitment on chalk can potentially be high, survivorship was relatively low. Thus rock type could be influential in setting species geographical limits.
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