January 1, 2011.
Few studies have quantified a relationship between recruitment, growth, survival and flow with colonial filter feeders. In this study, the growth of D. vex and larval recruitment were evaluated under different local flow conditions in Half Moon Bay, California, USA. Tunicates were subjected to four different flow conditions, three of which included objects to differentially obstruct flow, and growth and recruitment were measured. A direct relationship was seen between increases in flow and adult growth, and an inverse relationship was seen between increases in flow and recruitment. These trends suggest that optimal flow conditions differ for juveniles and adults. The adults' ability to grow over a range of flow conditions adds to its danger as a biological invader. Understanding how adult and juvenile ascidians behave under different flow conditions could be used to determine which marine environments are most vulnerable to invasion and could help those who wish to eradicate or control its spread.
Population Biology | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology
Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies (RTC)
This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation.