Hull Fouling in the Great Lakes

February 8, 2010

Diversity Distrib. 16, 132-143 (2010)

Hull fouling can be an important method of transport of aquatic species to areas where they can become invasive all around the world. However, Its importance in freshwater habitats is not understood very well.

Fransisco Sylvester and Hugh J. MacIsaac from the University of Windsor looked at non-indigenous species transported through hull fouling to the Great Lakes to see if there was a risk of invasion. They took samples from surfaces of over 20 vessels that arrived in the Great Lakes and sorted and identified the invertebrates present. While they found over 170,000 invertebrates per ship most of these were freshwater species already in the Great Lakes. Of the species that they found not already in the Great Lakes, only one of these was in good condition.  Their conclusions were that hull fouling seems to pose of low risk for introducing invasive species into the Great Lakes.

Tara Porter