Barnacle larval transport in the Mandovi–Zuari estuarine system, central west coast of India

Abstract

A two-dimensional hydrodynamic and particle tracking model was used to estimate the dispersion and retention of barnacle larvae from their possible spawning sites in a tropical monsoon-influenced estuarine system (central west coast of India). Validation of the hydrodynamic simulations yielded a good match with field measurements. The pattern of larval dispersal in the region varied with the winds and currents. The seasonal changes in abundance could be attributed to physical forcing and weather conditions. The extent of barnacle larval dispersal from spawning sites varied from 10 to 78 km for different sites and seasons. During a 24-h cycle, the larval abundance showed one to two peaks in the estuarine area. The increased larval abundance is favored by the flood currents, pushing the larvae into the estuary. Physical forcing in the region helps in transport of the larvae from their spawning sites hugging to the coast and contributing to the population within the estuary. Field observations and numerical experiments suggest the occurrence of higher larval abundance in the estuary during post-monsoon. The dispersal pattern indicated that the barnacle population present in the estuary is well mixed, and with a seasonally changing pattern.

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Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank the the director of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, for support. The first author would like acknowledge the initial CSIR-JRF support and the support from the Director, Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI), Port Blair, in the later phase for the completion of this work. The current measurements were made available for the study by Shri. Sidharth S Ghatkar and the help received in modelling from Shri. K. Sudheesh and Dr. M.T. Babu is greatly acknowledged. This is NIO contribution number 5408.

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Correspondence to Grinson George.

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George, G., Desai, D.V., Gaonkar, C.A. et al. Barnacle larval transport in the Mandovi–Zuari estuarine system, central west coast of India. J Oceanogr 69, 451–466 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10872-013-0186-4

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Keywords

  • Numerical modelling
  • Barnacle larvae
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Estuary
  • Dispersion and retention