Successional dynamics of marine fouling hydroids (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) at a finfish aquaculture facility in the Mediterranean Sea

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 13, Issue 4)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 7,645 words
Lexile Measure: 1620L

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Abstract :

Aquaculture is increasing rapidly to meet global seafood demand. Some hydroid populations have been linked to mortality and health issues in finfish and shellfish, but their dynamics in and around aquaculture farms remain understudied. In the present work, two experiments, each with 36 panels, tested colonization (factors: depth, season of immersion) and succession (factors: depth, submersion duration) over one year. Hydroid surface cover was estimated for each species, and data were analyzed with multivariate techniques. The assemblage of hydrozoans was species-poor, although species richness, frequency and abundance increased with time, paralleling the overall increase in structural complexity of fouling assemblages. Submersion duration and season of immersion were particularly important in determining the species composition of the assemblages in the succession and colonization experiments, respectively. Production of water-borne propagules, including medusae, from the hydroids was observed from locally abundant colonies, among them the well-known fouling species Obelia dichotoma, potentially representing a nuisance for cultured fish through contact-driven envenomations and gill disorders. The results illustrate the potential importance of fouling hydroids and their medusae to the health of organisms in the aquaculture industry.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A533041342