Long term effects of transplanted limpets on an experimental marine biofouling community

Uriel N. Safriel, Neta Erez, Tamar Keasar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The long-term effects of limpets on a marine biofouling community were studied. Each of six 20 cm2 shipping-steel panels was artificially colonized by 15 Patella caerulea limpets transplanted from intertidal rocks. Six other panels served as controls. The panels were hung at I. m. and 5.5 m depth from a pier in an Israeli port, and fouling was allowed to occur for 8 months. During winter, when fouling recruitment was low, the limpets reduced the 84%-90% cover of biofouling to 1%–3%, and barnacle density from 2.6–3.8 to 0.7–0.8 individuals.cm-2. With the commencement of the spring surge of fouling recruitment, the controlling effects of the limpets steadily declined, but they continued to check the development of the high-mass bryozoan cover. The decline was due to a feed-back loop; heavy settlement of barnacles brought about an initial reduction in control that resulted in increased barnacle sizes and density. This also induced accelerated mortality among limpets, bringing about a further increase in barnacle density.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-278
Number of pages18
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Resources For the Future, Incorporated, by the Robert Szold Institute for Applied Science, and by the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation. We want to thank S Pisanti, D Litvin and J Shalmoni for their help in the various stages of this research.


  • barnacle
  • biofouling
  • biological control
  • community structure
  • limpet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Water Science and Technology


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