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Population dynamics of the barnacle Chthamalus montagui at two spatial and temporal scales in northern Spain
Suarez, R.; Arrontes, J. (2008). Population dynamics of the barnacle Chthamalus montagui at two spatial and temporal scales in northern Spain. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 155(3): 363-374.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Suarez, R.
  • Arrontes, J.

    This study describes spatial and temporal patterns of variability in population parameters in the barnacle Chthamalus montagui Southward in three localities of northern Spain and evaluates whether density-dependent settlement may regulate population dynamics. The sampling design considered two spatial scales, localities and sites within localities, and two temporal scales, years and six month intervals. Density, amount of free space, mortality, growth rate and magnitude of settlement (both absolute and per unit of free space) were obtained from photographs of permanent quadrats and from direct counts in the field. The number of settlers in scraped and untouched quadrats was used to estimate the importance of the presence of conspecifics in settlement. Significant variation at the two spatial and temporal scales was found for most parameters. Large spatial and temporal variations in adult mortality rate, density, and settlement were observed. Patterns of mortality were not consistent with differences in density among localities. Differences in settlement among localities were maintained through time. We suggest that magnitude of settlement is regulated by persistent features such as topography or local water circulation. We assume that early post-settlement mortality does not differ among localities. In the absence of differential mortality, settlement determines average population density within localities. Within localities, settlement was independent of density and free space. No consistent evidence was found on preferential settlement at the vicinity of conspecifics. The main conclusion is that density-dependent settlement is not relevant for the regulation of the populations of C. montagui in the northern Spain. Regulation might occur by density-dependent processes within the adult fraction of the population and/or the larval phase before settlement.

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