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Mini-review: Impact and dynamics of surface fouling by solitary and compound ascidians

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nicholas Aldred, Professor Tony Clare


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Globally, ascidians are a significant contributor to benthic marine fouling communities, but have remained poorly studied in this context. In some cases, such as in shellfish and finfish aquaculture, ascidians are the most problematic of all fouling organisms. The disproportionate impact of ascidian fouling in some specific geographic locations has been related directly to anthropogenic translocation of these organisms around the globe. In the case of ascidians, therefore, the economic issue of biofouling and the ecological ramifications of invasion are inextricably linked. This mini-review briefly discusses the introduction of non-native ascidians to areas where they have subsequently proven to be a significant fouling pest. The elements of ascidian reproductive ecology that support their aggressive fouling character are discussed and the scant information pertaining to their adhesion and adhesives is presented. Finally, strategies for mitigating ascidian fouling are examined. It is suggested that sufficient working knowledge currently exists to support the inclusion of one or more common ascidian species as 'standard' test organisms used for evaluation of novel fouling-resistant surfaces.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Aldred N, Clare AS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biofouling

Year: 2014

Volume: 30

Issue: 3

Pages: 259-270

Print publication date: 21/01/2014

ISSN (print): 0892-7014

ISSN (electronic): 1029-2454

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/08927014.2013.866653


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Funder referenceFunder name
James Chair visiting professorship at St Francis Xavier University
N00014-08-1-1240Office of Naval Research
N00014-13-1-0633Office of Naval Research
N00014-13-1-0634Office of Naval Research