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Optimising settlement tiles: The effects of surface texture and energy, orientation and deployment duration upon the fouling community

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jeremy Thomason


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The aim of this study was to produce a set of tiles for field studies on settlement and biofouling with carefully controlled surface characteristics and practical design, and test them under field conditions. Impressions of precisely defined surface textures were made in silicone. Double sided tiles in epoxy, polyester and silanised epoxy resins were cast from the impressions. Tile characteristics tested were texture (Ra = 0, 0.19, 0.62, 1.1, 2.2mm), surface free energy (60, 52, 24mNm-2), and surface orientation (up, down, into, away). Tiles were deployed in the Red Sea for 4 and 7 months. Measures of community cover, dominance and richness were all significantly affected by each of the factors. The tiles proved durable and robust during the 7 month deployment with no observable changes in surface characteristics and none were lost or broken. These settlement tiles have a wide applicability for both biofouling and ecological studies. The field test demonstrated the complexities of the interactions between just four surface characteristics. This study has also underlined the need for multidimensional analysis of fouling communities for applied and basic research.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Thomason JC, Letissier DA, Thomason PO, Field SN

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biofouling

Year: 2002

Volume: 18

Issue: 4

Pages: 293-304

Print publication date: 01/12/2002

ISSN (print): 0892-7014

ISSN (electronic): 1026-7867

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd.


DOI: 10.1080/0892701021000034409


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