Differential response of settling larvae to resident colony density in two species of Bugula (Bryozoa: Cheilostomata)

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The effect of resident colony density on larval settlement in Bugula turrita (Desor) and Bugula stolonifera Ryland was determined on fouling panels each with three density treatments of Bugula colonies. Bugula colony density was manipulated so that one treatment had zero colonies, one had a low density of 1-2 colonies · cm-2, and one retained the extant density of 5-7 colonies · cm-2. Larvae of B. turrita showed no settlement preference with respect to colony density but B. stolonifera showed a marked density effect, settling preferentially in the high and low density treatments. These results contradict predictions based on the presumed competitive ability of the different growth forms of the two species. Selection for larval behavior in response to growth strategies early in life history may explain this settlement pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-63
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 13 1988


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

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