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The Settling and Growth of Wharf-pile Fauna in Port Nicholson, Wellington, New Zealand



The investigation extended over a thirteen-month period from April, 1949, to April, 1950. Two series of oregon pine test blocks (long and short term) were used. The established complex community on the wharf piles in the area of the experiment were the common fouling organisms—hydroids, polyzoans, ascidians, barnacles, etc. The pioneer species setting on the blocks in autumn were the hydroids and serpulid worms. The community in winter and spring is dominated by colonial ascidians and polyzoans, and finally in summer and early autumn the slower-growing sponge and algal species gain ascendancy. A thirteen-month period failed to give suitable conditions for growth and development of mussels. Marine borers caused significant damage to the test blocks, and data relating to their setting, development, and growth are recorded.