Bivalve and barnacle larvae distribution driven by water temperature in a Mediterranean lagoon

Boutheina Ziadi, Amel Dhib, Souad Turki, Lotfi Aleya
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 2015, 22 (9): 7002-11
The objective of this study was to explore the relationships between the distribution of some meroplanktonic species and water temperature. Meroplankton larvae abundance of bivalves, and barnacles and water temperature fluctuations were studied from February 2011 to January 2012 at five stations in Ghar El Melh lagoon (GML) Mediterranean Sea, northern Tunisia). According to redundancy analysis (RDA), a significant difference was found in the distribution of larvae among the seasons (F = 10.28, p < 0.001); summer and autumn appear to be the period of bivalve larvae development, whereas the arrival of barnacle larvae coincided with winter and spring. The generalized additive models (GAMs) show strong correlation of bivalve larvae with high temperature (F = 23.2; p < 0.001) and the affinity of barnacle larvae to low temperature values (F = 8.41; p = 0.004). This environmental parameter accounted for 26 % of the deviance in variability in larvae abundance. The development process of many generations of larvae may therefore have been predetermined by temperature.

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