Attachment strength is a key factor in the selection of surfaces by barnacle cyprids (Balanus amphitrite) during settlement

Biofouling. 2010;26(3):287-99. doi: 10.1080/08927010903511626.


This manuscript constitutes the first evidence of the effects of texture on the rate of removal of cyprids from surfaces and the link between settlement preferences and susceptibility to removal by force. Cyprids of Balanus amphitrite settled preferentially on sinusoidal linear textures (1:1 aspect ratio) in the range 0-32 microm, with textures on the scale of the cyprid (512 microm) treated as flat. Polycarbonate was preferred as a substratum to a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer. Textures of 64-256 microm were avoided and the texture of 256 microm in PDMS was the least preferred substratum tested, with no settlement of cyprids. Hydrodynamic removal was inversely correlated to settlement rate on the textures assayed, implying an adaptive response by cyprids to select surface textures to which their attachment was most tenacious. Correlation plots suggest that likelihood of removal by force is not the only factor involved when cyprids elect to settle on a given texture. Choice and no-choice assays delivered different results. This discrepancy is partially ascribed to inherent variability in the choice assay method, but also to the ability of cyprids to compare textures and exercise true choice, biasing settlement towards stimulatory textures in preference to intermediate textures that were settled on in the absence of choice. The identification of a link between settlement preference and likelihood of removal will assist practically in the development of fouling-resistant marine coatings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biofouling / prevention & control
  • Dimethylpolysiloxanes / chemistry
  • Life Cycle Stages
  • Materials Testing
  • Polycarboxylate Cement / chemistry
  • Thoracica / growth & development*
  • Thoracica / physiology


  • Dimethylpolysiloxanes
  • Polycarboxylate Cement
  • polycarbonate
  • baysilon