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Article

Rapid Spread of the Invasive Brown Alga Rugulopteryx okamurae in a National Park in Provence (France, Mediterranean Sea)

1
Aix Marseille Univ., Université de Toulon, CNRS, IRD, MIO, 13288 Marseille, France
2
OSU Institut Pythéas, CNRS, IRD, Aix Marseille University, Université de Toulon, 13288 Marseille, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: María Pilar Cabezas Rodríguez
Water 2021, 13(16), 2306; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13162306
Received: 6 July 2021 / Revised: 6 August 2021 / Accepted: 16 August 2021 / Published: 23 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Invasions in the Marine Environment)
The temperate Northwest Pacific brown alga Rugulopteryx okamurae (Dictyotales, Phaeophyceae) was first discovered in 2002 in the Mediterranean Sea in the Thau coastal lagoon (Occitania, France) and then again in 2015 along the southern side of the Strait of Gibraltar, where it was assigned with invasive status. We report here on the first occurrence of the species in the Northwest Mediterranean Sea in Calanques National Park (Marseille, France) in 2018. By 2020, a large population had developed, extending over 9.5 km of coastline, including highly protected no-take zones. The seafood trade, with R. okamurae used as packing material for sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus shipments from Thau Lagoon, could be the vector of its introduction into the Marseille area. As observed in the Strait of Gibraltar, R. okamurae is spreading rapidly along the Marseille coasts, suggesting an invasive pathway. The subtidal reefs are densely carpeted with R. okamurae, which overgrows most native algal species. Fragments of the alga are continuously detached by wave actions and currents, sedimenting on the seabed and potentially clogging fishing nets, and thus, impacting artisanal fishing or washing up on the beaches, where they rot and raise concern among local populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: invasive species; NIS; Mediterranean Sea; Rugulopteryx okamurae; global change invasive species; NIS; Mediterranean Sea; Rugulopteryx okamurae; global change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ruitton, S.; Blanfuné, A.; Boudouresque, C.-F.; Guillemain, D.; Michotey, V.; Roblet, S.; Thibault, D.; Thibaut, T.; Verlaque, M. Rapid Spread of the Invasive Brown Alga Rugulopteryx okamurae in a National Park in Provence (France, Mediterranean Sea). Water 2021, 13, 2306. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13162306

AMA Style

Ruitton S, Blanfuné A, Boudouresque C-F, Guillemain D, Michotey V, Roblet S, Thibault D, Thibaut T, Verlaque M. Rapid Spread of the Invasive Brown Alga Rugulopteryx okamurae in a National Park in Provence (France, Mediterranean Sea). Water. 2021; 13(16):2306. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13162306

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ruitton, Sandrine, Aurélie Blanfuné, Charles-François Boudouresque, Dorian Guillemain, Valérie Michotey, Sylvain Roblet, Delphine Thibault, Thierry Thibaut, and Marc Verlaque. 2021. "Rapid Spread of the Invasive Brown Alga Rugulopteryx okamurae in a National Park in Provence (France, Mediterranean Sea)" Water 13, no. 16: 2306. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13162306

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