Phenotypic variation for adhesive tenacity in the barnacle Balanus amphitrite
Silicone fouling-release coatings represent a non-toxic alternative to biocide-containing ship hull paints. These coatings allow fouling organisms to attach to the hull surface, but prevent firm adhesion. Adhesive tenacity to fouling-release materials varies both among and within species. We quantified broad-sense genetic and environmental sources of intraspecific variation in tenacity to two silicone substrata, for the barnacle Balanus amphitrite. For both materials tenacity varied over an order of magnitude; however, the partitioning of this variation differed between the substrata. For International Veridian, a commercially-available fouling-release coating, removal stress varied significantly among maternal families and replicate barnacle cultures. Variation among the maternal families was associated with previously observed differences among these families in the condition of the adhesive plaque. Additional experiments suggested that variation among the replicate cultures arose from heterogeneity between replicate coatings in properties that affect tenacity. We could not attribute variation in removal stress for Dow Corning Silastic T-2, a silicone rubber used for mold-making, to any of the genetic or environmental sources tested. Instead, variation may have been due to measurement error or heterogeneity within replicate coatings in properties affecting tenacity. Differences among maternal families in removal stress may stem from variation in the interaction between the adhesive and the substratum, or in the viscoelastic properties of the adhesive plaque.
Holm, ER; Kavanagh, CJ; Orihuela, B; Rittschof, D
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