COMPETITION, PREDATION AND THE MAINTENANCE OF DIMORPHISM IN AN ACORN BARNACLE (CHTHAMALUS ANISOPOMA) POPULATION.
AuthorLIVELY, CURTIS MICHAEL.
AdvisorHendrickson, J. R.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to determine how two morphs of the acorn barnacle, Chthamalus anisopoma, coexist on rocky intertidal shores in the northern Gulf of California. The test of one of these forms (here called "typical") has the conical, volcano shape which is characteristic of acorn barnacles while the test of the atypical form (here called "bent") grows bent-over so that the plane of the aperture's rim is perpendicular to the substrate. I tested the hypotheses that bents are more resistant than typicals to: (1) desiccation during low tides and (2) attack by a carnivorous snail (Acanthina angelica) involving the use of a labial spine. These two hypotheses (which were suggested from analysis of the distribution patterns of the two morphs) were tested in conjunction with experiments designed to determine whether the bent form is genetically controlled or environmentally induced. The results indicated that the bent-over morph is a developmental response to the presence of A. angelica and that it is more resistant than the typical form to specialized predation by this gastropod. I also tested the hypotheses that: (1) bents are inferior competitors for primary rock space, and (2) the bent-over morphology places constraints on growth and reproduction. I found no evidence to suggest that bents are inferior competitors for space. They were, however, found to grow more slowly than typicals and to brood fewer eggs per unit body size. In summary, the bent-over form of C. anisopoma is a conditional response to the presence of a predator and both the conditional strategy and the dimorphism appear to be maintained by a trade-off between resistance to predation and the ability to convert resources into offspring.