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Revolutions in rearing barnacles: rotating flow and substratum for culturing larvae and adults

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Barnacles that live attached to dynamic surfaces, particularly species that are epizoic with marine megafauna, draw benefit from their mobile homes through assistance with passive feeding and escape from predators. A moveable substratum may also offer positive cues for their settling larvae. In this study, we tested a technique for rearing in the laboratory, from larval stage to adult, a barnacle that associates with sea turtles, Chelonibia testudinaria. A dual-stage culturing system was devised, coupling circular tanks with rotating substrata to generate effects of flow and motion. A round-bottomed culturing vessel with gentle cyclical flow was used to raise larvae and then induce them to settle on revolving PVC pipes. The colonized pipes were then transferred to a separate tank for grow-out with continued rotation. Though settlement rates were low, the system proved valuable in obtaining the even distribution of a satisfactory number of juveniles across the pipes and in growing them in the laboratory for up to two years. This technique opens a variety of avenues of study for taxa that prefer or require a dynamic substratum.
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Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina 29409 2: Grice Marine Lab, College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina 29424 3: Current Address: School of Ocean Science and Engineering, University of Southern Mississippi, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA

Appeared or available online: May 26, 2020

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