Differential effects of tributyltin and copper antifoulants on recruitment of non-indigenous species.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Biofouling, 2008, 24 (1), pp. 23 - 33
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Maritime transport is a primary vector for many marine invaders. For the past two decades, most commercial vessels have used tributyltin (TBT) antifouling (AF) paint, whereas recreational vessels have been restricted to alternatives, most commonly containing copper. Settlement plates painted with a collar of copper or TBT AF paint, and unpainted control plates, were deployed in commercial and recreational embayments in Port Jackson, Australia, and sampled photographically after 5 and 10 months. Copper enhanced early recruitment of several non-indigenous species (NIS), whereas recruitment of indigenous species was typically reduced by copper. TBT limited the recruitment of NIS for just 5 months and indigenous species, for the entire study. The results suggest that the use of toxic AF paints, and the possible accumulation of AF biocides in embayments, may be negatively affecting indigenous epibiota. Conversely, copper antifoulants on recreational vessels may be facilitating the transport and establishment of copper tolerant NIS into disturbed estuarine habitats.
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