Supply-side ecology of the brown mussel, Perna perna: an investigation of spatial and temporal variation in, and coupling between, gamete release and larval supply

McQuaid, C.D. and Lawrie, S.M. (2005) Supply-side ecology of the brown mussel, Perna perna: an investigation of spatial and temporal variation in, and coupling between, gamete release and larval supply. Marine Biology, 147 (4). pp. 955-963. ISSN 0025-3162



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Sampling of recruitment-associated variables of Perna perna was done approximately monthly for 14 months at intertidal locations 500 m apart, nested within sites 25 km apart. Paired with intertidal locations were nearshore locations, 600 m to sea. Sampling assessed spawning, densities of larvae in the water column and densities of late plantigrades and juveniles on the shore. Major events in each variable were synchronous over larger scales (10s of kilometres) while subsidiary events were synchronised at smaller scales, varying within sites (100s of metres) or even within locations (metres). This suggests that the processes driving major events operated over large scales while processes operating at much more local scales drove less intense, more localised events. A major spawning event occurred at all locations in May–June 1998. Weaker spawning events occurred at different times in different locations. Larvae were found on 80% of sampling occasions, densities peaking in January–March 1998 and 1999 at all locations. Plantigrades and juveniles showed less clear patterns, with considerable residual variation. There was no sign of strong coupling among variables with few significant direct or cross correlations. The major sources of variability shifted from time to space as one progressed from spawning, to plantigrade density to juvenile density. For spawning, time was the most important source (58%) of heterogeneity and space accounted for little (8%) of the total variance. For larvae and late plantigrades, time was still the most important source of variability (41% and 33%, respectively), but space was a much more substantial component. For juveniles, small-scale (residual) spatial variability dominated total variability (75%). This strongly suggests the importance of hydrography and its effects on variation in delivery of larvae to the intertidal from offshore. These findings also indicate greater spatial heterogeneity as recruits age, reflecting small-scale variations in larval delivery and the increasing importance of post-settlement mortality.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Research article. The original publication is available at
Uncontrolled Keywords:Perna perna; coupling; mollusc; population density; recruitment; spatiotemporal analysis; benthic marine invertebrates; Mytilus edulis-L; secondary settlement; phytoplankton blooms; dispersal; mortality; assemblages; barnacles; southern Africa
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Zoology & Entomology
ID Code:811
Deposited On:11 Sep 2007
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:19
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