Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The role of biofilms developed under different anthropogenic pressure on recruitment of macro-invertebrates.

Abstract

Microbial biofilms can be key mediators for settlement of macrofoulers. The present study examines the coupled effects of microbial biofilms and local environmental conditions on the composition, structure and functioning of macrofouling assemblages. Settlement of invertebrates over a gradient of human-impacted sites was investigated on local biofilms and on biofilms developed in marine protected areas (MPAs). Special attention was given to the presence of non-indigenous species (NIS), a global problem that can cause important impacts on local assemblages. In general, the formation of macrofouling assemblages was influenced by the identity of the biofilm. However, these relationships varied across levels of anthropogenic pressure, possibly influenced by environmental conditions and the propagule pressure locally available. While the NIS Watersipora subatra seemed to be inhibited by the biofilm developed in the MPA, Diplosoma cf. listerianum seemed to be attracted by biofilm developed in the MPA only under mid anthropogenic pressure. The obtained information is critical for marine environmental management, urgently needed for the establishment of prevention and control mechanisms to minimize the settlement of NIS and mitigate their threats.