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A novel bioassay for evaluating the efficacy of biocides to inhibit settling and early establishment of marine biofilms

Journal article
Authors Åsa Arrhenius
Thomas Backhaus
Annelie Hilvarsson
Ida Wendt
Aleksandra Zgrundo
Hans Blanck
Published in Marine Pollution Bulletin
Volume 87
Issue 1-2
Pages 292-299
ISSN 0025-326X
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 292-299
Language en
Keywords Photoautotrophic biofilm; Microfouling; Periphyton; Slime; Ecotoxicology; Antifouling biocides
Subject categories Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences


This paper presents a novel assay that allows a quick and robust assessment of the effects of biocides on the initial settling and establishment of marine photoautotrophic biofilms including the multitude of indigenous fouling organisms. Briefly, biofilms are established in the field, sampled, comminuted and re-settled on clean surfaces, after 72 h chlorophyll a is measured as an integrating endpoint to reflect both settling and growth. Eight antifoulants were used to evaluate the assay. Efficacy ranking, based on EC98 values from most to least efficacious compound is: copper pyrithione > TPBP > DCOIT > tolylfluanid > zinc pyrithione > medetomidine > copper (Cu2+), while ecotoxicological ranking (based on EC10 values) is irgarol, copper pyrithione > zinc pyrithione > TPBP > tolylfluanid > DCOIT > copper (Cu2+)>medetomidine. The algaecide irgarol did not cause full inhibition. Instead the inhibition leveled out at 95% effect at 30 nmol l−1, a concentration that was clearly lower than for any other of the tested biocides.

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