Sunday, March 28, 2010

Barnacles enriching the trophic dynamics of the Galapagos waters

Researchers debate what happens to key sources of food during strong upwelling currents. As we learned in class, a strong upwelling can carry larvae from organisms like barnacles from their offshore home out to sea where they would die.

New Research shows that barnacles, a key food source in fact thrive in strong upwellings. When a strong upwelling is present the barnacle larvae is more likely to be recruited to the rocky walls. When this happens the predators of the barnacles, like hogfish and whelks flock to these strong upwelling zones creating dynamic ecosystems where there were thought to be none.

Several studies have shown that strong upwelling zones aren't good environments for barnacles to live and have shown this before. The new research was done in deeper waters and the research was done by one of the only teams to be working in these waters in the Galapagos Islands.

To learn more click here


  1. That is interesting that strong upwelling currents will cause an increase in recruitment of barnacles. Maybe an increase in current strength causes barnacles to settle at a higher rate to avoid being swept out to sea.

  2. That is very interesting that upwelling zones are actually helping these barnacles and producing a habitat. This is quite opposite from what was previously know.