The aims of this study were to summarize and describe the influences of phytoplankton on the larval cycle of rocky shore invertebrates, and to assess the relationship between fluctuations in chlorophyll-a concentration and the rates of larval processes. We carried out a mini review of the published data regarding the theme of the chapter, in which we described the ecological trends for the most common taxa and key species at small and larger spatiotemporal scales. The following topics were addressed: (i) the influence of phytoplankton on larval development, rhythms of larval release, larval quality, larval transport, settlement, and recruitment; (ii) the relationships between variations in chlorophyll-a concentration and the rates of larval processes; (iii) climate change on phytoplankton larva dynamics. The information presented here highlights the role of phytoplankton on rocky shore communities, as well as the importance of chlorophyll-a as a tool for modeling and forecasting the supply side ecology in rocky shore communities.
Part of the book: Chlorophyll