Special Issue "Biological Invasions in the Marine Environment"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Biodiversity and Functionality of Aquatic Ecosystems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 May 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. María Pilar Cabezas Rodríguez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Portugal
Interests: changes in species distribution and their relation with human activity; cryptic species; DNA metabarcoding; marine biodiversity; monitoring; morphological and molecular taxonomy of marine invertebrates; next-generation sequencing; non-indigenous species
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The ever-increasing volume of maritime traffic and aquaculture activities, fostered by the rapid globalization, are drastically accelerating the introduction and spread of non-indigenous species (NIS). These species might become invasive, threatening biodiversity and affecting ecosystem services, which may result in significant impacts for the economy and human well-being. Consequently, national and international policies have been adopted to manage this global problem. Despite the fact that some progress has been made, the control of biological invasions in the marine environment is still in its infancy, and is mainly hampered by (i) incomplete and inaccurate data availability on species distributions, vectors and introduction pathways; (ii) dispersed information across different unstandardized datasets; (iii) cumulative time lags in detection and reporting of NIS; (iv) a lack of comprehensive information on the impacts of these species on native communities; and (v) the existence of important gaps in taxonomic knowledge, especially for smaller taxa (‘’hidden invaders’’), early life stages (larvae, immature) and cryptic species.

The aim of this Special Issue is to provide new data (molecular, morphological, biological, ecological, etc.) to contribute to the knowledge of biological invasions in the marine environment. In addition to providing new NIS records, it will provide crucial insights into (i) non-indigenous and native species abundance and diversity; (ii) identification of taxonomically complicated taxa; (iii) the population structure, dispersal capability and population connectivity of NIS; (iv) the origin and distribution range of these species; (v) patterns of introduction, colonization and spread, including the characterization of the main responsible vectors; (vi) the biotic and abiotic factors involved in their establishment success and subsequent spread; (vii) the invasive potential of species; (viii) current and long-term impacts on recipient communities; and (ix) monitoring and management strategies to ensure the early detection of NIS and prevent their further spread.

Dr. María Pilar Cabezas Rodríguez
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Early detection
  • First record
  • Introduction pattern
  • Invasiveness
  • Impact assessment
  • Management and monitoring
  • Marine biodiversity
  • Morphological and molecular approaches
  • Taxonomy
  • Vectors and pathways of introduction.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
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 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 787
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Invasions in the Marine Environment)
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Communication
Diatom Epibionts on Amphipod Crustaceans: A Possible Vector for Co-introductions?
Water 2021, 13(16), 2227; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13162227 - 16 Aug 2021
Viewed by 920
Abstract
Epibiotic associations can result in co-introductions of non-indigenous species, which may affect ecosystems in several ways. In fouling communities of three estuaries in southern Brazil, a number of amphipods was found to harbour a dense coverage of epibionts. Three different species, the two [...] Read more.
Epibiotic associations can result in co-introductions of non-indigenous species, which may affect ecosystems in several ways. In fouling communities of three estuaries in southern Brazil, a number of amphipods was found to harbour a dense coverage of epibionts. Three different species, the two globally widespread caprellids Caprella equilibra and Paracaprella pusilla, as well as the ischyrocerid Jassa valida, had been colonised by diatoms. Further scanning electron microscope analyses assigned these diatoms to 14 different species that had previously been reported from benthic habitats. This is one of the scarce records of diatoms attached to amphipods. The occurrence of the diatom Amphora helenensis represents the first report for Brazilian waters as well as the second record for the whole SW Atlantic Ocean. As some diatoms were associated with common fouling amphipods, a possible regional spread aided by these crustaceans seems likely. Possible effects of this amphipod-diatom association on the animals and their implications for the underlying ecosystems of this remain to be elucidated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Invasions in the Marine Environment)
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Article
First Record of Colonial Ascidian, Botrylloides diegensis Ritter and Forsyth, 1917 (Ascidiacea, Stolidobranchia, Styelidae), in South Korea
Water 2021, 13(16), 2164; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13162164 - 06 Aug 2021
Viewed by 625
Abstract
Botrylloides species are important members of the fouling community colonizing artificial substrates in harbors and marinas. During monitoring in 2017–2020 of non-indigenous species in Korea, one colonial ascidian species was distinctly different from other native colonial ascidians, such as B. violaceus and Botryllus [...] Read more.
Botrylloides species are important members of the fouling community colonizing artificial substrates in harbors and marinas. During monitoring in 2017–2020 of non-indigenous species in Korea, one colonial ascidian species was distinctly different from other native colonial ascidians, such as B. violaceus and Botryllus schlosseri, in South Korea. This species was identified as B. diegensis. DNA barcodes with mitochondrial COI were used to identify one-toned and two-toned colonies of B. diegensis. Intraspecific variations between Korean and other regions of B. diegensis from the NCBI ranged from 0.0% to 1.3%. The Korean B. diegensis was clearly distinct from other species of Botrylloides at 15.8–24.2%. In phylogenetic analysis results, Korean B. diegensis was established as a single clade with other regions of B. diegensis and was clearly distinct from Korean B. violaceus. After reviewing previous monitoring data, it was found that two-toned B. diegensis was already found in six harbors by July 2017. It has now spread into 14 harbors along the coastal line of South Korea. This means that B. diegensis might have been introduced to South Korea between 1999 and 2016. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Invasions in the Marine Environment)
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Article
How Does Mytilus galloprovincialis Respond When Exposed to the Gametophyte Phase of the Invasive Red Macroalga Asparagopsis armata Exudate?
Water 2021, 13(4), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040460 - 10 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1023
Abstract
Asparagopsis armata is classified as an invasive species in Europe. Through the exudation of secondary metabolites, this macroalga holds a chemical defence against consumers, with potential toxic effects to native rocky shore communities. This study aims to evaluate the potential impact of A. [...] Read more.
Asparagopsis armata is classified as an invasive species in Europe. Through the exudation of secondary metabolites, this macroalga holds a chemical defence against consumers, with potential toxic effects to native rocky shore communities. This study aims to evaluate the potential impact of A. armata (gametophyte) exudate in a native species, the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis, in terms of biochemical and organismal effects. The 96 h-LC50 was 3.667% and based on it, exudate concentrations (0.25; 0.5; 1; 2%) were determined to further sublethal experiments. These sublethal concentrations caused no oxidative damage in the digestive gland since lipid peroxidation and protein carbonylation were not affected. Nevertheless, there was a significant rise in the electron transport system activity and total glutathione content in muscle, suggesting an increased non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity and consequent energy consumption to cope with potential pro-oxidant compounds. This might have contributed to the observed decline in cellular energy allocation of the exposed mussels. At the organismal level, clearance capacity declined along the concentration gradient. Moreover, the number of functional byssuses decreased with increasing concentrations and a significant reduction in their attachment strength was observed. These findings suggest that the presence of A. armata may compromise M. galloprovincialis integrity in the invaded coastal areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Invasions in the Marine Environment)
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