Nonwoven geotextile fabrics have physical, mechanical and hydraulic properties useful in coastal protection as an alternative to natural stone, slag, and concrete. In a 10-month experiment, the colonisation of macrofouling organisms on different substrata based on polypropylene (PP), polyester (PET) or high density polyethylene (HDPE) fibres was investigated in the Lagoon of Venice, Italy – an environment with temperate transitional waters with high biodiversity – and compared with the colonisation on wood as a reference substratum, because of its occurrence in artificial structures at the study location, until a stable stage was reached in the development of the macrofouling community. Geotextile fabrics showed implications for community development. They affected both ecological succession in different ways by disturbing biofouling settlement and growth (HDPE fabrics) or favouring species which become dominant (PP fabrics). For these two-faceted aspects that potentially cause different long-term impacts on the biodiversity of resident communities, the use of geotextile fabrics as antifouling or as profouling systems for restoration of degraded ecosystems is discussed. In all cases, the communities displayed unique properties, such as differences in the settlement of pioneer species, an initial disturbance to serpulid settlement, absence of barnacles, selection of dominant taxa (ascidians), and changes in the percentages of various taxa forming the community structure. Given the increasing interest in geotextile materials for employment in various marine developments and industries, these results could represent first lines of evidence to inform decision-making to minimise/modify biofouling, and/or predict the use of artificial substrata as habitats by marine organisms.

Two facets of geotextiles in coastal ecosystems: Anti- or profouling effects?

Varello, Roberta
Methodology
;
Cima, Francesca
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2021

Abstract

Nonwoven geotextile fabrics have physical, mechanical and hydraulic properties useful in coastal protection as an alternative to natural stone, slag, and concrete. In a 10-month experiment, the colonisation of macrofouling organisms on different substrata based on polypropylene (PP), polyester (PET) or high density polyethylene (HDPE) fibres was investigated in the Lagoon of Venice, Italy – an environment with temperate transitional waters with high biodiversity – and compared with the colonisation on wood as a reference substratum, because of its occurrence in artificial structures at the study location, until a stable stage was reached in the development of the macrofouling community. Geotextile fabrics showed implications for community development. They affected both ecological succession in different ways by disturbing biofouling settlement and growth (HDPE fabrics) or favouring species which become dominant (PP fabrics). For these two-faceted aspects that potentially cause different long-term impacts on the biodiversity of resident communities, the use of geotextile fabrics as antifouling or as profouling systems for restoration of degraded ecosystems is discussed. In all cases, the communities displayed unique properties, such as differences in the settlement of pioneer species, an initial disturbance to serpulid settlement, absence of barnacles, selection of dominant taxa (ascidians), and changes in the percentages of various taxa forming the community structure. Given the increasing interest in geotextile materials for employment in various marine developments and industries, these results could represent first lines of evidence to inform decision-making to minimise/modify biofouling, and/or predict the use of artificial substrata as habitats by marine organisms.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3396057
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