Control or remove non-native or nuisance species on subtidal artificial structures
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Definition: ‘Controlling or removing non-native or nuisance species’ includes actions taken to reduce the abundance of non-native or nuisance organisms on structures, with the aim of enhancing their biodiversity.
Marine artificial structures often support non-native and nuisance species (Airoldi et al. 2015; Dafforn 2017), especially those built in urban areas with high vessel movement, disturbance from human activity and poor water quality (Airoldi & Bulleri 2011; Mineur et al. 2012). This can have negative effects on native marine biodiversity on and around structures, as well as on humans.
It may be possible to control or remove non-native or nuisance species on subtidal artificial structures to enhance their biodiversity, using mechanical, chemical or biological methods. However, careful consideration must be given to what constitutes a non-native or nuisance species in any given location and scenario, to warrant its control or removal. In this synopsis, species are considered non-native when considered-so in the original study. However, ‘nuisance’ species that are not also non-native only includes those that have a negative effect on native biodiversity (e.g. by dominating space or smothering) – not those that are only a nuisance to society (e.g. by creating slippery surfaces, overgrowing aquaculture species, or fouling infrastructure). Care must also be taken to avoid causing unintended harm to non-target organisms (Locke et al. 2009).
Studies investigating control/removal actions that are indiscriminate and simultaneously remove all biodiversity from structure surfaces (e.g. Novak et al. 2017) or aim to prevent or reduce colonization in the first place for the benefit of humans (i.e. biofouling reduction; Scardino & de Nys 2011) are not included in this synopsis, which focusses on actions to enhance the biodiversity of artificial structures. Studies that only report the effects of actions on the controlled/removed species itself and not on the wider native biodiversity of structures are not included. Studies that report the effects of patch-scale control/removal, where continued presence on surrounding surfaces would be expected to influence conservation outcomes in practice, are not included but are informative (e.g. Dumont et al. 2011). Studies that investigate the effects of actions associated with maintenance or harvesting activities that reduce the likelihood of non-native species occupying bare space made available on structure surfaces following these activities are not considered here, but are included under “Cease or alter maintenance activities on subtidal artificial structures” and “Manage or restrict harvesting of species on subtidal artificial structures”.
Airoldi L. & Bulleri F. (2011) Anthropogenic disturbance can determine the magnitude of opportunistic species responses on marine urban infrastructures. PLoS ONE, 6, e22985.
Airoldi L., Turon X., Perkol-Finkel S. & Rius M. (2015) Corridors for aliens but not for natives: effects of marine urban sprawl at a regional scale. Diversity and Distributions, 21, 755–768.
Dafforn K.A. (2017) Eco-engineering and management strategies for marine infrastructures to reduce establishment and dispersal of non-indigenous species. Management of Biological Invasions, 8, 153–161.
Dumont C.P., Harris L.G. & Gaymer C.F. (2011) Anthropogenic structures as a spatial refuge from predation for the invasive bryozoan Bugula neritina. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 427, 95–103.
Locke A., Doe K.G., Fairchild W.L., Jackman P.M. & Reese E.J. (2009) Preliminary evaluation of effects of invasive tunicate management with acetic acid and calcium hydroxide on non-target marine organisms in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Aquatic Invasions, 4, 221–236.
Mineur F., Cook E.J., Minchin D., Bohn K., Macleod A. & Maggs C.A. (2012) Changing coasts: marine aliens and artificial structures. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review, 50, 189–234.
Novak L., López-Legentil S., Sieradzki E. & Shenkar N. (2017) Rapid establishment of the non-indigenous ascidian Styela plicata and its associated bacteria in marinas and fishing harbors along the Mediterranean coast of Israel. Mediterranean Marine Science, 18, 324–331.
Scardino A.J. & de Nys R. (2011) Mini review: biomimetic models and bioinspired surfaces for fouling control. Biofouling: The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research, 27, 73–86.