Larval Nutrition Effects on Juvenile Performance in the Natural Habitats of the Estuarine Barnacle Bafanlls improvislis (Cirripedia: Thoracica)
Pool, Thomas K.
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The significance of larval dietary history in many benthic invertebrates is relatively unknown. Our study examined the significance of larval dietary history on juvenile survivorship and growth rate in the barnacle species, Balanus improvisus. The larvae were raised in the laboratory from wild adults and reared under uniform dietary conditions until the sixth instar of development. The larvae were then divided into high and low food diet treatment groups during the sixth instar. Juveniles were placed in two sites at Coos Bay, Oregon (USA), and monitored for mortality and growth rates. Neither larval treatment nor location had a significant effect on mortality rates. Our laboratory studies indicated that larval dietary history significantly affects cyprid size. Postmetamorphosed individuals < 6 days) also varied in size relative to their dietary history. Both larval dietary history and location in the estuary had significant effects on barnacle growth rates, although location was the stronger effect.