Navigation Links
Mediterranean Sea invaded by alien species
Date:5/23/2011

More than 900 new alien species have been encountered in the coastal environments of the eastern Mediterranean Sea in recent decades, including the poisonous pufferfish. The invasion of alien species has had the consequence that the whole food chain is changing, while there is a lack of knowledge on which to base relevant risk assessments, a four-year study conducted at the University of Gothenburg shows.

"The Mediterranean is the world's most invaded sea, but our understanding of how alien species affect ecosystems is inhibited by a lack of basic knowledge of the animal and plant communities on the coast. Once species have become established in the Mediterranean it is almost impossible to eradicate them," says Stefan Kalogirou of the Department of Marine Ecology at the University of Gothenburg.

When the Suez Canal was completed in 1869, a corridor was created for the spread of alien species to the Mediterranean Sea, which is now undergoing great changes in animal and plant communities. In recent years, regular reports of alien species from several of the coastal environments of the eastern Mediterranean have caused concern over what will happen to indigenous species and ecosystems.

Over a period of four years Kalogirou, in cooperation with the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, has studied the structure and function of fish communities in sea-grass meadows and on sandy bottoms in two important coastal environments on the island of Rhodes in south-eastern Greece. This has provided important insights into invasion biology, that is to say possible ecological consequences of alien species in the food chain.

"The results show a clear ecological impact when alien species either become dominant, like pufferfish, or are piscivores, like barracuda and cornetfish. It is evident that the food chain is being restructured, but the lack of previous studies limited our conclusions."

The poisonous pufferfish is one of the alien species that have recently been introduced. The pufferfish toxin, tetrodotoxin, causes muscle paralysis, which can lead to respiratory arrest. In the worst case the outcome can be fatal. In the coastal environments that Kalogirou has studied, the pufferfish has become a dominant species, which has led to both ecological and social effects.

"There does seem to be an awareness at the European level of how quickly species spread into new areas, but there is a lack of basic knowledge of monitoring methodology, specific life characteristics of alien species and risk assessments. The impact of alien species, known as biological contamination, is something that must be taken into account in environmental impact assessments,"Kaligirou notes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Stefan Kalogirou
stefan.kalogirou@marecol.gu.se
30-697-072-2196
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Scientists Find new migratory patterns for Mediterranean and Western Atlantic bluefin tuna
2. Tuna Commission to decide the future of Mediterranean bluefin
3. Women double fruit, veggie intake with switch to Mediterranean diet plan
4. Threats to biodiversity rise in the worlds Mediterranean-climate regions
5. Coralline algae in the Mediterranean lost their tropical element between 5 and 7 million years ago
6. Black rat does not bother Mediterranean seabirds
7. Mediterranean diet associated with reduced risk of depression
8. Scientists of the UGR obtain a bioinsecticide to control the Mediterranean fruit fly
9. Mediterranean diet may lower risk of brain damage that causes thinking problems
10. Birth of a scientific project to save the Mediterranean coast
11. The Atmosphere Research Group evaluates dynamic atmosphere in Mediterranean
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Mediterranean Sea invaded by alien species
(Date:3/15/2016)... 15, 2016 --> ... Transparency Market Research "Digital Door Lock Systems Market - Global ... 2023," the global digital door lock systems market in terms ... and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 31.8% ... and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across the world and high industrial ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... March 11, 2016 --> ... research report "Image Recognition Market by Technology (Pattern Recognition), ... Advertising), by Deployment Type (On-Premises and Cloud), by Industry ... published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market is expected to ... 29.98 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 19.1%. ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. , March 9, ... of identity management authentication and enrollment solutions, today ... proven DigitalPersona ® Altus multi-factor ... enable IT and InfoSec managers to step-up security ... friction.  Washington, DC ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... , ... Proove Biosciences, Inc. , the commercial and research leader in ... . The partnership is designed to advance research in pain genetics in an effort ... With the new agreement, researchers at Proove Biosciences are able to collaborate with Luda ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... New York, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 04, ... ... growth, has leveraged recent innovations in biotechnology to help treat hormonal and stress ... hair loss, Nutrafol® has captured the hearts of key opinion leaders in the ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... announced the addition of Dr. Nancy Gillett to its Board of Directors. Dr. ... she served as Corporate Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. A board-certified ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2016 , ... According ... Hospital , for definitive prostate cancer treatment, patients traditionally had two main treatment options: ... treatment plan would be made. , New technology has enabled doctors to administer ...
Breaking Biology Technology: