Physiological tolerance predicts species composition at different scales in a barnacle guild
- 324 Downloads
This study examined how the species composition of an intertidal barnacle guild varied according to physical gradients in the environment at small scales governed by microclimates, medium scales of wave exposure and large scales of latitude. Barnacle distributions at small and medium scales were sampled in Ireland between 51°29′ and 52°44′N and 6°50′ and 10°08′W. Sampling on European shores spanned ~18° latitude from 37°05′ to 55°16′N. Barnacle surveys mainly took place in 2003–2004. An index of wave fetch was calculated along the wave exposure gradient using a digital coastline-based model that was supported by a biological exposure scale. A ‘dryness’ index was defined according to mean monthly wind speed, fetch along the average wind direction and mean monthly air or sea surface temperatures for 2 years (January 2001–December 2002) which is the period when the most recent adults in the barnacle community would have settled and grown to adulthood. The proportion of the dry-loving barnacle Chthamalus montagui Southward increased within the barnacle guild at all scales as the habitat became warmer and drier. Barnacle densities were high in all habitats, mean densities ranged from a minimum of 4.16 cm−2 on moderately exposed shores to a maximum of 6.27 cm−2 in sunlit or south-facing microclimates. Percentage cover of barnacles across the gradient of latitudes was usually >70%. The results suggest that the distribution and abundance of interacting barnacle species on European coasts is strongly controlled by abiotic factors, most likely temperature and desiccation.
KeywordsWave Exposure Physiological Tolerance Shore Level Barnacle Species Exposed Shore
We wish to thank the Irish Marine Institute for funding (Ref: PDOC/01/006) and Dr. Mike Burrows, Dr. Rebecca Leaper, Niall McGinty and Dr. Julio Arrontes for various help. Special thanks to Eoin MacLoughlin and the late Dr. Jimmy Dunne for collection of barnacle samples in France. We would also like to thank two referees for very valuable suggestions.
- Ballantine WJ (1961) A biologically-defined exposure scale for the comparative description of rocky shores. Field Stud 1:1–19Google Scholar
- Burrows MT (1985) Predation by Nucella lapillus on barnacles. Porcup Newsl 3:64–66Google Scholar
- Burrows MT (1988) The comparative biology of Chthamalus stellatus (Poli) and Chthamalus montagui Southward. PhD Dissertation, University of Manchester, ManchesterGoogle Scholar
- Connell JH (1975) Some mechanisms producing structure in natural communities: a model and evidence from field experiments. In: Cody M, Diamond J (eds) Ecology and evolution of communities. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp 460–490Google Scholar
- Crapp GB (1973) The distribution and abundance of animals and plants on the rocky shore of Bantry Bay. Irish Fish Investig (New Ser) 9:1–35Google Scholar
- Foster BA (1969) Tolerance of high temperature of some intertidal barnacles. Mar Biol 4:326–332Google Scholar
- Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (1996) Climate change 1995: the science of climate change. In: Houghton JT, Meira Fihlo LG, Callender BA, Harris N, Kattenberg A, Maskell K (eds) Contribution of WG1 to the second assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, UKGoogle Scholar
- Rayner NA, Parker DE, Horton EB, Folland CK, Alexander LV, Rowell DP, Kent EC, Kaplan A (2003) Global analyses of sea surface temperature, sea ice, and night marine air temperature since the late nineteenth century. J Geophys Res 108:D14, 4407. doi: 10.1029/2002JD002670
- Seierstad IA, Stephenson DB, Kvamstø NG (2007) How useful are teleconnection patterns for explaining variability in extratropical storminess? Tellus 59A:170–181Google Scholar
- Southward AJ (1958) The zonation of plants and animals on rocky sea shores. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 33:137–177Google Scholar
- Stephenson TA, Stephenson A (1972) Life between the tidemarks on rocky shores. WH Freeman & Co, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar