Dock Piling Fouling Communities

Water filtration is one of the most important ecosystem services provided by sessile organisms in coastal ecosystems. As a consequence of increased coastal development, human-made shoreline structures (e.g., docks and bulkheads) are now common, providing extensive surface
area for colonization by filter feeders. In the Loxahatchee River, Florida, we estimated system-wide filtration estimates by combining empirical estimates of species abundance with published filtration rates, and found that human-made shoreline structures support a quantity of filtration capacity similar to that that supported by all natural habitats in the system (e.g., oyster reefs). One of the published papers can be found here.