Biotic resistance is considered an important driver in the establishment of non-indigenous species (NIS), but experiments in the marine environment have led to contradictory results. In this context, a transplant experiment of fouling communities was carried out over five months. Settlement panels were moved from low impact (species-rich native communities) to high impact sites by NIS in two Italian areas to test the biotic resistance hypothesis. Fouling communities displayed significant differences among treatments before and after the transplant, thus indicating the maintenance of a peculiar fouling community in transplanted panels. On the other hand, newly recruited species were similar between treatments and neither a facilitation nor a mitigation role from native fouling communities on NIS was observed. Our results highlight the importance to better investigate the factors affecting the high variability obtained in experiments testing this hypothesis, with the aim to identify potential solutions for NIS management in ports.

Biotic resistance of native fouling communities to bioinvasions could not be demonstrated by transplant experiments in Northern Italy

Tamburini, Marco;Occhipinti-Ambrogi, Anna;Ferrario, Jasmine
2022

Abstract

Biotic resistance is considered an important driver in the establishment of non-indigenous species (NIS), but experiments in the marine environment have led to contradictory results. In this context, a transplant experiment of fouling communities was carried out over five months. Settlement panels were moved from low impact (species-rich native communities) to high impact sites by NIS in two Italian areas to test the biotic resistance hypothesis. Fouling communities displayed significant differences among treatments before and after the transplant, thus indicating the maintenance of a peculiar fouling community in transplanted panels. On the other hand, newly recruited species were similar between treatments and neither a facilitation nor a mitigation role from native fouling communities on NIS was observed. Our results highlight the importance to better investigate the factors affecting the high variability obtained in experiments testing this hypothesis, with the aim to identify potential solutions for NIS management in ports.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11571/1461148
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