Spatial pattern of rocky intertidal barnacle recruitment: Comparison over multiple tidal levels and years

Daphne M. Munroe, Takashi Noda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Recently developed methods allow quantification and examination of point patterns. Understanding patterns of aggregation or regularity of larval recruits at various spatial scales can help in identifying underlying ecological and biological processes determining their distribution. A rocky shore plot (30cm wide100cm tall) in southern Hokkaido, Japan was cleared each summer. Barnacle (Chthamallus challengeri) recruitment, after a period of approximately 134 days, was recorded using 40 photographs (25cm2); 8 photographs per 20cm horizontal band of tidal height, 5 bands total. Barnacle recruits within each photograph were mapped and co-ordinates used to analyse aggregation at scales from 02cm using Ripley's K statistic and neighbourhood density function (NDF) (both models assumed heterogeneity of first-order density). Quadrat density counts at scales from 2050cm provided estimates of aggregation using Morisita's standardized index. These analyses showed that barnacle recruits demonstrate ordered spacing up to a distance of 6mm. From 6mm to 2cm recruits show random spacing based on NDF, but ordered distribution based on the Ripley's K statistic. This discrepancy is likely a result of the cumulative nature of the Ripley's K statistic. At larger scales, Morisita's standardized index indicated aggregation. This result may be explained biologically by the trade off between maximizing need for space at small spatial scales, however being constrained by copulation with neighbours, resulting in aggregation at scales larger than the maximum penis length. The observed pattern was consistent among years with different recruitment densities and among tidal levels, indicating site specific characteristics and interspecific interactions may have a larger influence than desiccation stress or density dependence on spacing of recruits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-353
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science


  • Barnacle recruitment
  • Chthamallus challengeri
  • Ripley's K
  • Rocky intertidal
  • Spatial point pattern
  • Tide height

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Spatial pattern of rocky intertidal barnacle recruitment: Comparison over multiple tidal levels and years'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this