First Advisor

Catherine de Rivera

Date of Publication

Summer 8-10-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Environmental Science and Management


Environmental Science and Management




Marine fouling organisms -- Oregon -- Yaquina Bay -- Case studies, Introduced organisms -- Effect of predation on, Introduced organisms -- Dispersal



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 84 pages)


Coastal anthropogenic infrastructure has significantly modified nearshore environments. Because these structures often have a strong association with shipping as would be found in ports and harbors, they have been identified as invasion hotspots. Due to propagule pressure from shipping and recreational boating and suitable uncolonized substrate that provides a refuge from native predators, a greater number of non-native species have been found on these structures compared to nearby natural substrate. The mechanisms that limit the spread of non-native species from anthropogenic structures to natural substrate have been explored for several taxa at a species-specific level, but less so from an overall community perspective. Predation has been identified as one of the biotic interactions limiting invasion success. In addition to predation, dispersal ability may also prevent the spread of non-native species from anthropogenic structures to natural substrate.

This thesis addresses how these two mechanisms interact to limit the spread of non-native species from anthropogenic structures to natural substrate and how that alters overall community composition. I aimed to explore differences between communities inside and outside of a marina and determine the extent to which predator and dispersal limitation were structuring these communities. I used a three-factor design, deploying seven unglazed ceramic tiles per each treatment combination of 1) inside versus outside a marina in Yaquina Bay, Oregon; 2) cage keeping out predators greater than the mesh size, no cage, or partial cage; 3) fixed near the substrata (benthic) versus suspended 1 meter below the surface. I also transplanted caged, suspended tiles of either adults or recruits from inside the marina to benthic and suspended caging treatments outside of the marina. These tiles allowed me to examine predation when dispersal limitation was not a factor for the community inside the marina, i.e. what happens to both recruits and adults if they can get outside of the marina. I found that the communities inside and outside of the marina were different and the data suggest that both predation and dispersal limitation interact to limit the spread of non-native species. Additionally, I found that mesopredators that could fit through the caging may be influencing predation results and community structure.

This research addresses gaps in scientific knowledge regarding the mechanisms that prevent or facilitate the spread of non-native species. Future work could include the further exploration of mesopredation as an important factor in limiting the spread of non-native species and exploring dispersal limitation more in depth as well as broadening the geographic scope to see if the same trends hold true across bays and bioregions.


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