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image of Crustaceana

Balanus rostratus is one of the few species of barnacles that can form large, multi-levelled aggregations of differently aged individuals. It was found that individuals in aggregations were smaller than solitary barnacles. Most probably, these smaller sizes can be accounted for by (1) competition for substrate and food by surrounding barnacles, (2) form of the substrate, which restricted the barnacle's base growth in at least one direction, as they mainly survive settling in the area of the opercular aperture of a host barnacle, and (3) suboptimal oxygen and food supply, as the water current is weakened in the lower part of the aggregation. The growth of barnacles in differing situations (solitary or in aggregations) was not isometric. Their ratio of rostro-carinal basal length to carina height decreases with age. Solitary individuals living under favourable conditions were mostly conical (flattened). In the multi-levelled aggregations and in polluted areas with muddy bottoms the barnacles proved to be more oblong. It is likely that these individuals respond to deviations in parameters of environmental conditions from the optimum by increasing their shell height.

Balanus rostratus est l'une des quelques espèces de balanes qui peuvent former des agrégats à multiples niveaux d'individus d'âge différent. Il a été trouvé que les individus en agrégats étaient plus petits que les solitaires. Très probablement, ces tailles plus petites pouvaient être mises sur le compte de (1) la compétitition pour la nourriture et le substrat avec les balanes environnantes, (2) la forme du substrat, qui restreignait la croissance de la base des balanes dans une direction au moins, comme elles survivent principalement en se fixant dans la région de l'ouverture operculaire d'une balane-hôte et (3) l'apport réduit d'oxygène et de nourriture, le courant d'eau étant affaibli dans la partie inférieure de l'agrégat. La croissance des balanes dans les différentes situations (solitaires ou en agrégat) n'était pas isométrique. Le rapport de la longueur du basal rostro-carénal à la hauteur de la carène décroît avec l'âge. Les individus solitaires vivant dans des conditions favorables étaient surtout coniques (applatis). Dans les agrégats à multiples niveaux et dans les zones polluées avec des fonds vaseux, les balanes étaient plus oblongues. Il est probable que ces individus répondent aux déviations (par rapport à l'optimum) dans les paramètres des conditions d'environnement en accroissant la hauteur de la coquille.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Palchevskogo Street 17, Vladivostok 690041, Russia; 2: Institue of Marine Biology, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Palchevskogo Street 17, Vladivostok 690041, Russia


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