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Assessing the impacts of nonindigenous marine macroalgae: An update of current knowledge

Davidson, A.D., Campbell, M.L., Hewitt, C.L. and Schaffelke, B. (2015) Assessing the impacts of nonindigenous marine macroalgae: An update of current knowledge. Botanica Marina, 58 (2). pp. 55-79.

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Nonindigenous marine species continue to be one of the foremost threats to marine biodiversity. As an update to a 2007 review of the impacts of introduced macroalgae, we assessed 142 additional publications to describe species’ impacts as well as to appraise information on the mechanisms of impact. Only 10% of the currently known nonindigenous macroalgal species were subjects of ecological impact studies, with changed community composition as the most commonly reported effect. Economic impacts were rarely published. Recent research has focused on the impacts of introduced macroalgal assemblages: red algal introductions to the Hawaiian Islands and turf algae in the Mediterranean. Several general issues were apparent. First, many publications included nonsignificant results of statistical analyses but did not report associated power. As many of the studies also had low effect and sample size, the potential for type II errors is considerable. Second, there was no widely accepted framework to categorize and compare impacts between studies. Information in this updated review was still too sparse to identify general patterns and mechanisms of impact. This is a critical knowledge gap as rates of introductions and hence impacts of nonindigenous macroalgae are expected to accelerate with climate change and increasing global trade connectivity.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: de Gruyter
Copyright: ©2015 by De Gruyter
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