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Oxygen consumption in relation to body size, wave exposure, and cirral beat behavior in the barnacle Balanus glandula

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Barnacle feeding and respiration depend on the activity of feeding appendages known as cirri. We measured the oxygen consumption of individuals of the acorn barnacle Balanus glandula Darwin, 1854 to determine how changes in beating behavior, body size, and cirrus length affected energy demand. Respiration rates increased exponentially with body mass to the 0.66 power. Respiration rates did not differ significantly among pumping, normal, and fast beats, even though these beats involve different levels of cirral and opercular activity. Finally, barnacles from a location of high water motion exhibited significantly shorter cirri and lower oxygen consumption for a given body size than those from calmer waters.

Affiliations: 1: 2Scripps College, 1030 Columbia Avenue, Claremont, CA 91711, USA


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