Less inhabited with age: Larval age effects modifies response to natural settlement inhibitors.

Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Biofouling, 2006, 22 (2), pp. 101 - 106
Issue Date:
2006-01
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As larvae of marine invertebrates age, their response to settlement cues can change. This change can have signification consequences to both the ecology of these organisms and to their response to antifouling coatings. This study exmaines how larval age affects the settlement response of larvae to two naturally derived settlement inhibitors, non-polar extracts from the algae Delissa pulchra and Dilophus marginatus, the former of which contains compounds that are in commercial development as antifoulants. Two species of marine invertebrates with non-feeding larvae, were investigated: the bryozoans Watersiposa subtorquata and Bugula neritina. Larval afe strongly affected larval settlement, with older larvae settling at much higher rates tha younger larvae. Despite having strong inhibitory effects on young larvae, the non-polar extracts did not inhibit the settlement of older larvae to the same degree for both species studied. The results show that the effects of ecologically realistic settlement inhibitors are highly dependent on larval age. Given that the age of settling larvae is likely to be variable in the field, such age specific variation in settlement response of larvae may haveimportant consequences for host-epibiont interactions in natural communities.
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