The role of artificial habitats on fouling bryozoan fauna in the southwestern Atlantic.
Artificial habitats, such as harbours and marinas, are entry doors for the introduction and dispersal of species. Surveys on fouling community in these habitats help to understand preventing environmental impacts and management of invasive species. Thus, a survey on fouling bryozoan fauna was carried out along 17 artificial habitats (eight harbours and nine marinas) from three coastal stretches in Southwestern Atlantic. A total of 55 species were identified, including 13 non-native, 33 cryptogenic and nine native taxa. Only five bryozoan species were found in more than 75% of sampled sites. Our analysis revealed that bryozoan fouling communities in artificial habitats do not vary significantly between commercial and recreational localities. However, we also found that faunal assemblages varied significantly along Brazilian coastal stretches that are distinguished by environmental conditions, such as salinity and temperature.