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The effect of vessel speed on the survivorship of biofouling organisms at different hull locations
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by A Coutts, R Piola, M Taylor, Chad Hewitt, J Gardner
This study used a specially designed MAGPLATE system to quantify the en route survivorship and post-voyage recovery of biofouling assemblages subjected to short voyages (512 h) across a range of vessel speeds (slow, medium, fast; in the range 4.0–21.5 knots). The effect of hull location (bow, amidships and stern) was also examined. While no significant differences were evident in en route survivorship of biofouling organisms amongst hull locations, biofouling cover and richness were markedly reduced on faster vessels relative to slower craft. Therefore, the potential inoculum size of non-indigenous marine species and richness is likely to be reduced for vessels that travel at faster speeds (414 knots), which is likely to also reduce the chances of successful introductions. Despite this, the magnitude of introductions from biofouling on fast vessels can be considered minor, especially for species richness where 90% of source-port species were recorded at destinations.