The influence of antifouling practices on marine invasions

Richard Piola, Katherine Dafforn, Emma L. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Citations (Scopus)


Vessel hull-fouling is increasingly recognised as one of the major vectors for the transfer of marine non-indigenous species. For hundreds of years, copper (Cu) has been used as a primary biocide to prevent the establishment of fouling assemblages on ships' hulls. Some non-indigenous fouling taxa continue to be transferred via hull-fouling despite the presence of Cu antifouling biocides. In addition, several of these species appear to enjoy a competitive advantage over similar native taxa within metal-polluted environments. This metal tolerance may further assist their establishment and spread in new habitats. This review synthesises existing research on the links between Cu and the invasion of fouling species, and shows that, with respect to the vector of hull-fouling, tolerance to Cu has the potential to play a role in the transfer of non-indigenous fouling organisms. Also highlighted are the future directions for research into this important nexus between industry, ecology and environmental management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-644
Number of pages12
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • copper (Cu)
  • antifouling
  • non-indigenous species (NIS)
  • hull-fouling
  • tolerance
  • invasion


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