The crude organic extracts of the endemic gorgonian Phyllogorgia dilatata and two sponge species Aplysina fulva and Mycale microsigmatosa were evaluated for anti-fouling properties through field experiments. To investigate this property in ecologically meaningful conditions, crude extracts from these invertebrates were incorporated at concentrations naturally found in these marine organisms into a stable gel used as a substratum for fouling settlement. Crude extract from A. fulva showed no significant anti-fouling property at the natural concentrations used in the field experiments. In fact, fouling organisms settled significantly more on gels treated with A. fulva extract than on the control gel. On the other hand, both M. microsigmatosa and P. dilatata yielded crude extracts that exhibited a selective action inhibiting only the settlement of barnacles. The evidences obtained here by means of field experiments can provide a basis for future development of one kind of natural antifoulant technology to prevent marine biofouling.
marine invertebrates; anti-fouling; secondary metabolites