Marine macroinvertebrates fouled in marine anthropogenic litter in the Moroccan Mediterranean

Bilal Mghili, Gabriel Erique De-la-Torre, Mohamed Analla, Mustapha Aksissou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The existence of floating marine litter in marine environments enhances the potential for the transport of fouling organisms using these substrates as vectors. In this study, we examined the fouling organisms on different types of litter stranded on two beaches of the Moroccan Mediterranean. The study revealed 13 fouling species belonging to 8 phyla (Arthropoda, Bryozoa, Annelida, Mollusca, Cnidaria, Echinodermata, Chlorophyta, and Ochrophyta) on marine litter. Rafting vectors were almost exclusively made up of plastics and could mainly be attributed to land-based sources. The most common fouling species were the crustacean Lepas pectinata, Lepas anatifera, Perforatus perforatus, and bryozoan species. More taxa were found on large litter than on small litter. Relative substratum coverage was highest for bryozoan sp. (31.0 %), green algae (29.0 %), Lepas anatifera (21.42 %), Lepas pectinata (17.8 %), and Perforatus perforatus (17.46 %). Our results suggest that the growing generation of plastic litter may enhance the probability of the introduction of non-native species into the Moroccan Mediterranean. Therefore, monitoring efforts are needed to identify vectors and the arrival of novel invasive species in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114266
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Fouling biota
  • Marine debris
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Morocco
  • Non-indigenous species
  • Rafting
  • Vector


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