Why do mussels and barnacles live in exposed areas

Another similar pattern commonly seen with mussels is they seem to only thrive where they are exposed to high wave action. Take for example a large pool located behind a large reef or barrier with only a small opening to the ocean. The water will cover this area most if not all the time. We know that mussels feed on small food items in water, the more water, the more food, the more food the more mussels. It would seem logical that mussels would thrive in an area where they would be covered by sea water all the time.

However, in situations like this, there are no mussels. There are no barnacles and noticeably less diversity of marine animals. The reason for this pattern is again related to food. There is plenty of food available in the water and there is plenty of water. The problem is that the water is not moving or moving too slowly. Mussels need water that is constantly flowing to allow them to consume greater amounts of food. Water that is not moving swiftly will not provide the required amount of food.
Posted in Patterns.

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