Marine Biology

, Volume 159, Issue 2, pp 331–340 | Cite as

Being young in a changing world: how temperature and salinity changes interactively modify the performance of larval stages of the barnacle Amphibalanus improvisus

  • Ali Nasrolahi
  • Christian Pansch
  • Mark Lenz
  • Martin Wahl
Original Paper


The fate of key species, such as the barnacle Amphibalanus improvisus, in the course of global change is of particular interest since any change in their abundance and/or performance may entail community-wide effects. In the fluctuating Western Baltic, species typically experience a broad range of environmental conditions, which may preselect them to better cope with climate change. In this study, we examined the sensitivity of two crucial ontogenetic phases (naupliar, cypris) of the barnacle toward a range of temperature (12, 20, and 28°C) and salinity (5, 15, and 30 psu) combinations. Under all salinity treatments, nauplii developed faster at intermediate and high temperatures. Cyprid metamorphosis success, in contrast, was interactively impacted by temperature and salinity. Survival of nauplii decreased with increasing salinity under all temperature treatments. Highest settlement rates occurred at the intermediate temperature and salinity combination, i.e., 20°C and 15 psu. Settlement success of “naive” cyprids, i.e., when nauplii were raised in the absence of stress (20°C/15 psu), was less impacted by stressful temperature/salinity combinations than that of cyprids with a stress history. Here, settlement success was highest at 30 psu particularly at low and high temperatures. Surprisingly, larval survival was not highest under the conditions typical for the Kiel Fjord at the season of peak settlement (20°C/15 psu). The proportion of nauplii that ultimately transformed to attached juveniles was, however, highest under these “home” conditions. Overall, only particularly stressful combinations of temperature and salinity substantially reduced larval performance and development. Given more time for adaptation, the relatively smooth climate shifts predicted will probably not dramatically affect this species.


Stress History Settlement Success Larval Performance Larval Duration Naupliar Stage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank Frank Melzner for his helpful advices and Stephanie Stratil for her comments and English revision. A. N. gratefully thanks the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology (MSRT) of Iran for awarding him a scholarship to pursue his education toward PhD. The authors are most grateful to Prof. Jon Havenhand whose valuable comments and suggestions improved the manuscript substantially.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Nasrolahi
    • 1
  • Christian Pansch
    • 1
  • Mark Lenz
    • 1
  • Martin Wahl
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Marine EcologyLeibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, IFM-GEOMARKielGermany

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