Composition and temporal distribution of cirripede larvae in Southampton Water, England, with particular reference to the secondary production of Elminius modestus

Muxagata, Erik; Williams, John Alfred; Sheader, Martin


Southampton Water, an estuary on the south coast of England, has been the focus of a number of studies to determine the seasonality and productivity of its pelagic community. Although recognized as important in previous studies, the meroplankton component and, in particular, the cirripedes have been largely ignored, though they rank second to the Copepoda in abundance. In order to estimate the contribution of barnacle larvae to the pelagic community, 42 quantitative zooplankton samples were collected from a fixed station within the estuary during a period of 19 months ( from 12 January 2001 until 16 July 2002). As expected, barnacles were the second most abundant group averaging 13% of the total population, and accounting for up to 60% on some occasions. Eight barnacle species were identified: Elminius modestus, Balanus improvisus, Balanus crenatus, Semibalanus balanoides, Verruca stroemia, Chthamalus stellatus, Sacculina carcini, and Peltogaster paguri. Of these E. modestus was the most abundant and frequent, dominating the Cirripedia fraction throughout the year, but being outnumbered by B. crenatus from February to May. Secondary production was calculated for E. modestus and mean daily rates of 0.077 mg Cm 3 d 1 (28.08 mg Cm 3 yr 1) were found.

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