Does climatic warming explain why an introduced barnacle finally takes over after a lag of more than 50 years?
- Sophia WitteAffiliated withBioConsult SH
- , Christian BuschbaumAffiliated withAlfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
- , Justus E. E. van BeusekomAffiliated withAlfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
- , Karsten ReiseAffiliated withAlfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research Email author
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Invading alien species may have to await appropriate conditions before developing from a rare addition to the recipient community to a dominance over native species. Such a retarded invasion seems to have happened with the antipodean cirripede crustacean Austrominius modestus Darwin, formerly known as Elminius modestus, at its northern range in Europe due to climatic change. This barnacle was introduced to southern Britain almost seven decades ago, and from there spread north and south. At the island of Sylt in the North Sea, the first A. modestus were observed already in 1955 but this alien remained rare until recently, when in summer of 2007 it had overtaken the native barnacles Semibalanus balanoides and Balanus crenatus in abundance. At the sedimentary shores of Sylt, mollusc shells provide the main substrate for barnacles and highest abundances were attained on mixed oyster and mussel beds just above low tide level. A. modestus ranged from the upper intertidal down to the subtidal fringe. Its realized spatial niche was wider than that of the two natives. We suggest that at its current northern range in Europe a long series of mild winters and several warm summers in a row has led to an exponential population growth in A. modestus.
KeywordsAlien species Austrominius modestus Invasion Climate change North Sea
- Does climatic warming explain why an introduced barnacle finally takes over after a lag of more than 50 years?
Volume 12, Issue 10 , pp 3579-3589
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Alien species
- Austrominius modestus
- Climate change
- North Sea
- Industry Sectors