A fouling study was conducted in coastal waters southwest of the East China Sea between December 2013 and November 2014. A total of 84 species of fouling organisms belonging to 69 genera, 49 families, and 10 phyla were recorded over the entire year. The community composition was dominated by coastal warm-water species belonging to typical subtropical inner bay communities. The prosperous stage of settlement lasted from April to September, and the adhesion strength of the fouling organisms was the highest in summer. Sessile suspension feeders constituted the main core of settlement for the fouling community. Amphibalanus reticulatus was the most dominant and representative species of fouling organism, and other dominant species included Caprella equilibra, Ectopleura crocea, Anthopleura nigrescens, Stylochus ijimai, Spirobranchus kraussii, Crassostrea angulata, Perna viridis, Jassa falcata, Stenothoe valida, Sphaerozius nitidus, and Biflustra grandicella. The individuals in the fouling community showed a mutual dependence or constraint relationship due to competition for settlement space and food, and they exhibited a particular spatiotemporal distribution in accordance with adaptation to environmental factors. Temperature was the most important environmental factor determining the geographic distribution of fouling organisms. The temperature characteristics of species essentially reflect the differences in the fouling community composition in various climate zones. The species number, settlement stage, and settlement rate of fouling organisms are closely related to water temperature. Local natural environmental conditions (salinity, water currents, light, etc.) as well as human activity (such as aquaculture production) are all important factors affecting the settlement of fouling organisms.
Heshan LIN, Jianjun WANG, Wei LIU, Kun LIU, Shuyi ZHANG, Xuebao HE, Yaqin HUANG, Junhui LIN, Jianfeng MOU, Chengxing ZHENG, Tao YAN. Fouling community characteristics in subtropical coastal waters of the southwestern East China Sea[J]. ACTA OCEANOLOGICA SINICA, 2017, 36(10): 70-78. doi: 10.1007/s13131-017-1007-1.