Fouling Community Surveys

As part of a national and global effort to understand and document patterns of invasion in marine coastal waters, we are collecting invertebrates from embayments across the United States, Panama and Australia.  Invertebrate collecting devices called settling plates are deployed at marinas, commercial and military docks in several embayments each year. Settling plates are constructed of both wood and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) so that both wood-boring species and hard surface foulers can be collected. 

In addition to determining invaders in various regions, several of the questions we hope to address include: 

  • Are there discernable patterns of invasion related to locality or region?
  • If so, how do environmental factors affect these patterns?
  • What are the effects on the distribution of the native species?
  • Is invasion success related to the size of the embayment or to other spatial components?

To address these questions, we are conducting a large scale spatial fouling survey as well as a focused temporal fouling survey.

invasionsweb@si.edu
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