The oceans are changing: impact of ocean warming and acidification on biofouling communities

Sergey Dobretsov*, Ricardo Coutinho, Daniel Rittschof, Maria Salta, Federica Ragazzola, Claire Hellio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Climate change (CC) is driving modification of the chemical and physical properties of estuaries and oceans with profound consequences for species and ecosystems. Numerous studies investigate CC effects from species to ecosystem levels, but little is known of the impacts on biofilm communities and on bioactive molecules such as cues, adhesives and enzymes. CC is induced by anthropogenic activity increasing greenhouse emissions leading to rises in air and water temperatures, ocean acidification, sea level rise and changes in ocean gyres and rainfall patterns. These environmental changes are resulting in alterations within marine communities and changes in species ranges and composition. This review provides insights and synthesis of knowledge about the effect of elevated temperature and ocean acidification on microfouling communities and bioactive molecules. The existing studies suggest that CC will impact production of bioactive compounds as well as the growth and composition of biofouling communities. Undoubtedly, with CC fouling management will became an even greater challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-595
Number of pages11
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Biofilm
  • bioactive compounds
  • biofouling
  • climate change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Water Science and Technology


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