Wednesday, April 26, 2017

More interesting

A juvenile barnacle on my fouling panels, photographed
under a dissecting microscope at 50x magnification
Another week, another check of my succession experiment! I have my experiments at two different docks, the WHOI pier and a floating platform in Eel Pond. Each week, I collect the fouling panels, examine what's on them, perform any experimental manipulations I need to, and change out the larval trap. I alternate docks each week (so each dock gets checked every other week), and this week, it was the WHOI pier's turn.

I wasn't quite sure what I would find on the panels, since the last time I checked the WHOI pier, there was literally nothing on my panels. This week, I brought the panels into the lab, bracing myself for disappointment, but was pleasantly surprised to find I had a few recruits!

I had four species on my panels this week. There was Folliculina, (the same ciliate I had seen in Eel Pond), two hydroids (Tubularia and Obeliaboth of which had been on my monitoring plates before), and then the star of the show: barnacles!

I had been waiting for barnacles to settle because a major part of my study concerns how barnacles influence the communities they live in. There were a few individuals on my panels this time, and I'm hoping they'll increase in abundance over the next few weeks. Every time I check my panels, the results get more and more interesting. Let the experiment continue!

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