Modulation of gregarious settlement of the stalked barnacle, Pollicipes pollicipes: a laboratory study


  • Sofia C. Franco School of Marine Science and Technology, Newcastle University - Departamento de Biologia, Escola de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Évora
  • Nick Aldred School of Marine Science and Technology, Newcastle University
  • Teresa Cruz Departamento de Biologia, Escola de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Évora - MARE–Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Laboratório de Ciências do Mar, Universidade de Évora
  • Anthony S. Clare School of Marine Science and Technology, Newcastle University



stalked barnacles, larva, settlement, attachment, metamorphosis, cyprids, aquaculture


Although recruitment patterns of Pollicipes pollicipes (Crustacea: Scalpelliformes) in the wild have been investigated, no studies have yet focused on the factors that affect settlement. In the present paper, settlement of P. pollicipes on conspecifics (gregarious settlement) was investigated in the laboratory as a function of environmental conditions (hydrodynamics, temperature, light and salinity), larval age and batch. This study aimed to understand how these factors modulate settlement in the laboratory and elucidate how they might impact recruitment patterns in nature. Maximum attachment on adults was 30-35%, with a one-week metamorphosis rate of 70-80%. Batch differences affected both attachment and metamorphosis. Attachment rate was higher at natural salinity (30-40 psu), with lower salinity (20 psu) decreasing metamorphosis rate. Cyprid attachment was stimulated by light conditions and circulating water. This might relate to a preference for positioning high in the water column in nature, but also to increased cyprid-surface contact in conditions of circulating water. Older cyprids (3 or 6 days) showed higher attachment than un-aged larvae, though fewer 6-day-old larvae metamorphosed. Temperature did not affect attachment rate, but the metamorphosis rate decreased at 14°C (compared with 17 or 20°C), implying that differences in temperature during the breeding season can affect how quickly cyprids metamorphose to the juvenile. Cyprids survived for prolonged periods ( ≥ 20 days; 40% survival), likely due to efficient energy saving by intercalating long periods of inactivity with fast bursts of activity upon stimulation.


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How to Cite

Franco SC, Aldred N, Cruz T, Clare AS. Modulation of gregarious settlement of the stalked barnacle, Pollicipes pollicipes: a laboratory study. scimar [Internet]. 2016Jun.30 [cited 2023Jun.1];80(2):217-28. Available from: