TitleThe surf zone: a semi-permeable barrier to onshore recruitment of invertebrate larvae?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsRilov, G, Dudas, SE, Menge, B, Grantham, BA, Lubchenco, J, Schiel, DR
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Type of ArticleJournal Article

The supply of larvae to the shore is important for population replenishment and intertidal community dynamics but its variability at most scales is not well understood. We tested the relationship between nearshore mussel larval abundance and intertidal settlement rates over several years at multiple spatiotemporal scales in Oregon and New Zealand. Abundance of competent larvae nearshore and intertidal recruitment rates were simultaneously quantified using collectors mounted at different depths on moorings 50-1100 m from shore, and at adjacent rocky intertidal sites. Total mussel larval abundance and oceanographic conditions were also measured in some locations. At all scales, abundance of nearshore mussel larvae was unrelated to intertidal recruitment rates. In the intertidal, patterns of mussel recruitment were persistent in space, with sites of consistently high or low recruitment. In contrast, nearshore competent larval abundance showed generally similar abundances among sites except for a high, and spatially-inconsistent, variability in Oregon during 1998 only. On moorings, recruitment tended to be greater on midwater collectors than shallower or deeper. Finally, on moorings larval abundance in traps and recruitment on collectors was unrelated. These results suggest that (1) among sites, the size of the nearshore larval pool is relatively uniform while onshore recruitment varies and is unrelated to larval abundance, (2) temporal variability in nearshore larval availability is not strongly expressed onshore, (3) vertical stratification of competent larvae nearshore is strong and may influence transport and recruitment, and (4) within-coast variability in onshore recruitment is strongly driven by processes occurring locally within the surf zone that need to be studied to understand coastal recruitment dynamics. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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