Surfzone hydrodynamics alter phytoplankton subsidies affecting reproductive output of Mytilus californianus and Balanus glandula
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The surf zone connects the ocean to the shore and acts as a semipermeable barrier through which food and larval resources must pass if they are to sustain intertidal populations. Where surf zones were narrow, more reflective, surfzone phytoplankton concentrations were lower than shores where surf zones were wide, more dissipative. Variations in surfzone hydrodynamics alter food subsidies, which in turn affects the reproductive output and growth of the ecologically important filter-feeders, the barnacle Balanus glandula and mussel Mytilus californianus. Spatial patterns of phytoplankton subsidies driven by surfzone hydrodynamics can vary dramatically over even small distances. These subsidies then drive growth and reproductive output of intertidal filter feeders.