Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. 53(1): 9-17

Composition of the biofouling community associated with oyster culture in an Amazon estuary, Pará State, North Brazil

Rafael A. das Chagas1*, Mara Rúbia F. Barros1, Wagner César R. dos Santos1 and Marko Herrmann1


1Amazon Rural Federal University (UFRA), Institute of Social Environmental and Water Resources (ISARH), Av. Presidente Tancredo Neves 2501, Post Box nº 917, Bairro Montese, CEP: 66077-530, Belém, Pará, Brazil


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Biofouling affects global aquaculture with significant impacts on productivity and profitability, especially in marine shellfish culture, where both the target culture species and/or infrastructure are exposed to a diverse array of fouling organisms. In oyster culture, fouling of stock causes physical damage, mechanical interference, biological competition and environmental modification, with infrastructure also colonized. The present study describes the composition of the biofouling community inhabiting the surface of the mangrove oyster Crassostrea rhizophorae, cultivated in an Amazon estuary, in the state of Pará, northern Brazil. In total, 6,124 macroinvertebrates were collected during July, August, October and December 2013. Collected epifauna was represented by 5 groups (Bivalvia, Gastropoda, Polychaeta, Crustacea and Anthozoa), 20 families and 37 species. Bivalvia was the most abundant class, with the mussel Mytella charruana by far the most dominant species with 5,183 individuals. Knowledge about the composition of biofouling as well as identifying the main species that cause direct impacts allows more tailored and strategic management options, minimizing the often-significant costs associated with biofouling control (antifouling).


Key words: Macrobenthos, epifauna, oyster farming, aquaculture, shellfish culture