Habitat Distribution and Heterogeneity in Marine Invasion Dynamics: the Importance of Hard Substrate and Artificial Structure

  • Gregory M. Ruiz
  • Amy L. Freestone
  • Paul W. Fofonoff
  • Christina Simkanin
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 206)


The rate of coastal marine invasions has increased dramatically in recent time; however, it appears that not all habitats are equally important as sites of colonization. An analysis of the 327 non-native marine and estuarine species reported as established in North America shows that 71% occur on hard substrate, either solely or in combination with other habitats. Of these 232 species, over 200 are reported to occur on artificial structures at docks and marinas. Because ports and marinas are areas where vectors and propagule supply are presumably concentrated, artificial substrata are likely the first habitats colonized by non-native species arriving to a bay or estuary, and therefore may be focal points for the growth and spread of non-native populations. Understanding the effect of habitat landscape on marine invasion dynamics is important for understanding invasion processes, and developing effective management strategies to reduce the establishment and spread of non-native species.


Hard Substratum Artificial Substratum Oyster Reef Biotic Resistance Artificial Habitat 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We wish to thank Martin Wahl for the opportunity to contribute this chapter. The development of this paper benefited from discussions with Gail Ashton, Jim Carlton, Chad Hewitt, Whitman Miller, Dan Minchin, and Rick Osman. This research was supported by the National Sea Grant Program, Smithsonian Institution and U.S. Coast Guard.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory M. Ruiz
    • 1
  • Amy L. Freestone
    • 1
  • Paul W. Fofonoff
    • 1
  • Christina Simkanin
    • 2
  1. 1.Smithsonian Environmental Research CenterEdgewaterUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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