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Oecologia

, Volume 74, Issue 2, pp 304–309 | Cite as

Desiccation, predation, and mussel-barnacle interactions in the northern Gulf of California

  • C. M. Lively
  • P. T. Raimondi
Original Papers

Summary

Field experiments were conducted in order to determine the potential for desiccation and predation to mediate the effect of mussels (Brachidontes semilaevis) on barnacles (Chthamalus anisopoma) in the highly seasonal northern Gulf of California. We did this by removing both mussels and a common mussel predator (Morula ferruginosa: Gastropoda) and by spraying selected sites with sea water during summertime spring low tides. We also determined the effect of crowding on resistance to desiccation in barnacles, and the effect of barnacles on colonization by mussels. The mussel-barnacle community was not affected by keeping experimental quadrats damp during daytime low tides throughout the summer. Exposure to summertime low tides, however, did affect the survivorship of isolated, but not crowded, barnacles; and barnacle clumps enhanced the recruitment of mussels. Hence crowding in barnacles had a positive effect on both barnacle survivorship and mussel recruitment. Morula had a negative effect on mussel density, and mussels had a negative effect on barnacle density. The effect of Morula on barnacle density was positive, presumably due to its selective removal of mussels. These results suggest an indirect mutualism between barnacles and the gastropod predator, because barnacles attract settlement or enhance the survival of mussels, and the predator reduces the competitive effect of mussels on barnacles.

Key words

Barnacles Competition Desiccation Mussels Predation 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. M. Lively
    • 1
  • P. T. Raimondi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of California, SantaBarbaraUSA

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