Barnacle larvae in ice: Survival, reproduction, and time to postsettlement metamorphosis
Limnol. Oceanogr., 50(5), 2005, 1520-1528 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2005.50.5.1520
ABSTRACT: Late stage larvae (cyprids) of the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides frequently encounter freezing conditions along the northwest Atlantic coast. S. balanoides cyprids survived for more than 4 weeks embedded in sea ice, and a significant fraction of larvae held in ice up to 2 weeks successfully settled and metamorphosed after thawing. Larvae that completed metamorphosis continued to develop and reproduce. In settlement experiments with cyprids of known age and where settled cyprids were removed every other day from the experimental containers, cyprids held in ice for 2 weeks settled and metamorphosed more than nonfrozen larvae. Mean time to metamorphosis was longer for frozen cyprids than for nonfrozen ones, and maximum time to metamorphosis was 38 d for cyprids held in sea ice for 2 weeks and 26 d for cyprids in nonfrozen treatments. Larval tolerance to freezing conditions greatly expands the environmental tolerance repertoire of marine invertebrates and may help explain the ecological success of this widespread intertidal species.