The oceans are changing: impact of ocean warming and acidification on biofouling communities

Climate change (CC) is driving modification in the chemical and physical properties of estuaries and oceans with profound consequences for species and ecosystems. Numerous studies investigate its effect from species to ecosystem levels, however little is known on impacts on biofilm communities and bioactive molecules, like cues, glues, and enzymes. CC is induced by anthropogenic activity increasing greenhouse emissions leading to rises in air and water temperatures, ocean acidification, sea level rise and changes in ocean gyres and rainfall patterns. These environmental changes are resulting in alterations in marine communities and spreading of species (pathogens, invasives). This review provides insights and synthesis of knowledge about the effect of elevated temperature and ocean acidification on microfouling communities and bioactive molecules. The existing studies suggest that CC will impact production of bioactive compounds, growth and composition of biofouling communities. Undoubtedly, with CC fouling management will became an even greater challenge.

Dobretsov S., Coutinho R., Rittschof D., Salta M., Ragazzola F. & Hellio C., in press. The oceans are changing: impact of ocean warming and acidification on biofouling communities. Biofouling. Article.

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