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Impacts of introduced seaweeds

Schaffelke, B. and Hewitt, C.L. (2007) Impacts of introduced seaweeds. Botanica Marina, 50 (5-6). pp. 397-417.

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We analyzed 69 publications on the impacts of introduced seaweeds. The predominant impacts were changed competitive relationships in the recipient habitat, indicated by high abundances of invaders, resultant space monopolization, and reduced abundances/biomass of native macrophytes. Changes in biodiversity, effects on fish and invertebrate fauna, toxic effects on other biota, and habitat change were also identified. The mechanisms underlying the manifestation of impacts are uncertain and inferences about common patterns were hampered because impact studies were available for only a few introduced seaweeds, covered only a fraction of their introduced distribution and generally were conducted over short time scales. There was no information about evolutionary effects or changes of ecosystem processes. Knowledge of socio-economic impacts of invasive seaweeds is poor. We collated costs associated with control/eradication activities and for national spending on marine biosecurity in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Prevention of impacts is the driving force for costly surveillance, eradication and control programs. Until we are able to understand, predict and measure impacts of introduced seaweeds, the management of species incursions needs to remain focused on early detection, rapid response and control to reduce the likelihood of negative impact effects.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: de Gruyter
Copyright: © 2007 Walter de Gruyter GmbH
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