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Communication

Double Trouble: Synergy between Habitat Loss and the Spread of the Alien Species Caulerpa cylindracea (Sonder) in Three Mediterranean Habitats

1
Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5, 00185 Rome, Italy
2
Centro Interuniversitario di Biologia Marina ed Ecologia Applicata, Viale N. Sauro 4, I-57128 Livorno, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lyudmila Kamburska
Water 2021, 13(10), 1342; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101342
Received: 16 April 2021 / Revised: 6 May 2021 / Accepted: 10 May 2021 / Published: 12 May 2021
The role of habitat degradation on the spread of the alien green alga Caulerpa cylindracea is reported here by comparing observations achieved through a multi-year assessment on three Mediterraneans habitats, namely Posidonia oceanica meadows, Phyllophora crispa turf, and coralligenous reefs. Due to the peculiarity of the study site, both natural-reference and impacted conditions were investigated. C. cylindracea occurred in all the studied habitats under impacted conditions. High susceptibility to the invasion characterized impacted P. oceanica, where Caulerpa cover reached 70.0% in summer months. C. cylindracea cover did not differ significantly among conditions in P. crispa turf, where values never exceeded 5.0%. Conversely, the invasive green algae was low in abundance and patchily distributed in coralligenous reefs. Our results confirmed that habitat loss enhances the spread of C. cylindracea, although with different magnitudes among habitats. Dead matte areas of P. oceanica represented the most vulnerable habitat among those analyzed, whereas coralligenous reefs were less susceptible to the invasion under both the studied conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: invasive alien species (IAS); global change; Mediterranean Sea; Posidonia oceanica meadow; Phyllophora crispa turf; coralligenous reefs; human impact; habitat loss invasive alien species (IAS); global change; Mediterranean Sea; Posidonia oceanica meadow; Phyllophora crispa turf; coralligenous reefs; human impact; habitat loss
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MDPI and ACS Style

Casoli, E.; Mancini, G.; Ventura, D.; Belluscio, A.; Ardizzone, G. Double Trouble: Synergy between Habitat Loss and the Spread of the Alien Species Caulerpa cylindracea (Sonder) in Three Mediterranean Habitats. Water 2021, 13, 1342. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101342

AMA Style

Casoli E, Mancini G, Ventura D, Belluscio A, Ardizzone G. Double Trouble: Synergy between Habitat Loss and the Spread of the Alien Species Caulerpa cylindracea (Sonder) in Three Mediterranean Habitats. Water. 2021; 13(10):1342. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101342

Chicago/Turabian Style

Casoli, Edoardo, Gianluca Mancini, Daniele Ventura, Andrea Belluscio, and Giandomenico Ardizzone. 2021. "Double Trouble: Synergy between Habitat Loss and the Spread of the Alien Species Caulerpa cylindracea (Sonder) in Three Mediterranean Habitats" Water 13, no. 10: 1342. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101342

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