, Volume 706, Issue 1, pp 205–219 | Cite as

Regular and irregular events in fouling communities in the White Sea

  • V. V. KhalamanEmail author


Patterns of long-term changes in fouling communities developing on artificial substrates in the White Sea are reviewed. The most significant shifts occurring in these communities are caused by biological successions that can last for several decades. Terminal stages of succession are the communities of a mussel Mytilus edulis or a solitary ascidian Styela rustica which can periodically replace one another within a narrow range of depths: from 1–1.5 to 5 m. Sporadic local invasion of a sponge Halichondria panicea can transiently modify the composition and performance of fouling communities. Sudden invasion of species that are not a typical component of fouling communities (infaunal polychaetes and molluscs, crabs) is not rare phenomenon but these organisms do not play a significant role there. Representatives of the associated polychaete fauna in fouling communities show long-term cyclic fluctuations in their abundances. Duration of these cycles is 7–8, 11–14, or 20 years.


Long-term changes Fouling communities Associated fauna Polychaetes Succession White Sea 



I wish to sincerely thank all my colleagues and coauthors who took part in studies of fouling communities of the White Sea. The author is very grateful to Dr. Alan Butler and anonymous reviewer for important advice and for their kind help in the English. This work was supported by various grants of Russian Foundation for Basic Research in different years (Grants Nos. 03-04-4979, 06-04-48789 and 10-04-00310).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.White Sea Biological Station Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of SciencesSaint PetersburgRussia

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