The Living Dock

by Steven Seidell November. 16, 2018 130 views

Floats on docks, such as those at marinas, support an amazing variety of organisms. Organisms that attach to floating objects in the ocean are called "fouling organisms. Floats provide a solid substrate to which animals and algae attach. Since this zone is rarely disturbed by natural forces apart from ice, a highly diverse yet stable community forms. Diatoms, green alga and red algae often settle first, forming a pale green film on the floats. Then come the larger green algae. Along with the algae a host of animals settle here. Juvenile barnacles forming solid banks of tiny volcano-shaped tests. Blue mussels, attached by byssal threads, often form thick beds that appear to shut out all other organisms.

Rockport Harbor - Rockport, Maine

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