Marine biofilms as mediators of colonization by marine macroorganisms: Implications for antifouling and aquaculture

P. Y. Qian*, S. C.K. Lau, H. U. Dahms, S. Dobretsov, T. Harder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

352 Citations (Scopus)


In the marine environment, biofilms on submerged surfaces can promote or discourage the settlement of invertebrate larvae and macroalgal spores. The settlement-mediating effects of biofilms are believed to involve a variety of biofilm attributes including surface chemistry, micro-topography, and a wide range of microbial products from small-molecule metabolites to high-molecular weight extracellular polymers. The settled organisms in turn can modify microbial species composition of biofilms and thus change the biofilm properties and dynamics. A better understanding of biofilm dynamics and chemical signals released and/or stored by biofilms will facilitate the development of antifouling and mariculture technologies. This review provides a brief account of 1) existing knowledge of marine biofilms that are relevant to settlement mediation, 2) biotechnological application of biofilms with respect to developing non-toxic antifouling technologies and improving the operation of aquaculture facilities, and 3) challenges and future directions for advancing our understanding of settlement-mediating functions of biofilms and for applying this knowledge to real-life situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-410
Number of pages12
JournalMarine Biotechnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Aquaculture
  • Biofouling
  • Colonization
  • Conservation management
  • Marine biofilms
  • Settlement mediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Aquatic Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Marine biofilms as mediators of colonization by marine macroorganisms: Implications for antifouling and aquaculture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this