The role of biofilms developed under different anthropogenic pressure on recruitment of macro-invertebrates

Eva Cacabelos*, Patrício Ramalhosa, João Canning-Clode, Jesús S. Troncoso, Celia Olabarria, Cristina Delgado, Sergey Dobretsov, Ignacio Gestoso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Microbial biofilms can be key mediators for settlement of macrofoulers. The present study examines the coupled effects of microbial biofilms and local environmental conditions on the composition, structure and functioning of macrofouling assemblages. Settlement of invertebrates over a gradient of human-impacted sites was investigated on local biofilms and on biofilms developed in marine protected areas (MPAs). Special attention was given to the presence of non-indigenous species (NIS), a global problem that can cause important impacts on local assemblages. In general, the formation of macrofouling assemblages was influenced by the identity of the biofilm. However, these relationships varied across levels of anthropogenic pressure, possibly influenced by environmental conditions and the propagule pressure locally available. While the NIS Watersipora subatra seemed to be inhibited by the biofilm developed in the MPA, Diplosoma cf. listerianum seemed to be attracted by biofilm developed in the MPA only under mid anthropogenic pressure. The obtained information is critical for marine environmental management, urgently needed for the establishment of prevention and control mechanisms to minimize the settlement of NIS and mitigate their threats.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2030
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2 2020


  • Bacteria
  • Biofouling
  • Diatoms
  • Larval recruitment
  • Non-indigenous species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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