Analysis of behavioural rejection of micro-textured surfaces and implications for recruitment by the barnacle Balanus improvisus

  • Berntsson K
  • Jonsson P
  • Lejhall M
 et al. 
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Abstract

Experiments performed in the field and in the laboratory show that the barnacle, Balanus improvisus, preferentially settles on smooth surfaces. Settlement and recruitment of B. improvisus was evaluated on micro-textured surfaces with scales of surface texture ranging from 1 to 100 μm in profile heights. Surface texture with profile heights within a topographic range of 30-45 μm reduced settlement and recruitment by 92% as compared to smooth surfaces. The reduction in recruitment on micro-textured surfaces is best explained by behavioural responses to surface topography. Behavioural experiments show that cyprids have a higher propensity for smooth surfaces than for micro-textured surfaces. Cyprids spend more time exploring smooth surfaces and more time swimming when exposed to micro-textured surfaces. Micro-textured surfaces are more often rejected by cyprids after exploration than smooth surfaces. It is suggested that some scales of surface texture could be exploited to improve future anti-fouling techniques in geographical areas where Balanus improvisus is a severe fouling problem. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Antifouling
  • Balanus improvisus
  • Barnacle
  • Biofouling
  • Larval behaviour
  • Micro-habitat selection
  • Micro-texture
  • Micro-topography
  • Recruitment
  • Settlement
  • Spatial and temporal variability

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