Use of artificial substrata by introduced and cryptogenic marine species in Paranaguá Bay, southern Brazil

  • Neves C
  • Rocha R
  • Pitombo F
 et al. 
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Ports are important locations for the introduction of marine species, while marinas and pontoons often serve as secondary habitats for these species. In a marina near Paranaguá Port, a major international port in southern Brazil, the encrusting community was studied to (i) identify possibly introduced species, and (ii) examine the use of artificial substrata by these species. Samples (20 x 20 cm) were taken from fibreglass floats (boardwalks and boat hulls) and concrete columns. A total of 85 species were found of which 50 were classified into three categories: four introduced, 33 cryptogenic and 13 native. The introduced species were the hydrozoan Garveia franciscana (on floats, boats and submerged concrete), the polychaete Polydora cornuta (more abundant on floats and submerged concrete) and the barnacles Amphibalanus reticulatus (equally abundant on the three substrata) and Striatobalanus amaryllis (only on floats and submerged concrete). Organisms were most abundant on floating boardwalks, while species richness and composition were similar to that on boat hulls (32 and 37, respectively), which are an important vector for intraregional transport. All substrata supported at least three of the four introduced, and many of the cryptogenic species. The proportion of introduced to the total number of species was greater than observed in other ports. This demonstrates that the introduction potential is great in Paranaguá Bay, especially considering that this study was restricted to one site and sampled only hard substrata. None of the introduced species has yet been identified as invasive, but all are generalists with respect to substratum, indicating their invasive potential. The ability to colonise stable concrete walls shows that they could also colonise the natural granite rocky substrata in the bay, and the ability to colonise floating surfaces indicate their capability of spreading in the region on the hulls of recreational boats.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Artificial substrata
  • Biofouling
  • Cryptogenic species
  • Habitat selection
  • Marine bioinvasions
  • Non-native species

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