Invasive Species

Modeling the role and impact of alien species and fisheries on the Israeli marine continental shelf ecosystem

Corrales X, Ofir E, Coll M, Goren M, Edelist D, Heymans JJ, Gal G. Modeling the role and impact of alien species and fisheries on the Israeli marine continental shelf ecosystem. Journal of Marine Systems [Internet]. 2017 ;170:88 - 102. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924796316302329
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $41.95
Type: Journal Article

The ecosystems of the Israeli Mediterranean coast have undergone significant changes in recent decades mainly due to species invasions and fishing. In order to characterize the structure and functioning of the marine continental shelf of the Israeli Mediterranean coast and assess temporal changes, we developed a food web model representing two time periods: 1990–1994 and 2008–2012.

The 1990–1994 and 2008–2012 food web models were composed of 39 and 41 functional groups, respectively. Functional groups ranged from primary producers to top predators, and included six and eight alien functional groups, respectively, encompassing several crustacean and fish species. Input data included local surveys and fishery statistics, published data on stomach content analyses, and the application of empirical equations to estimate consumption and production rates.

Results of the competitive interactions between alien and native species and changes in trophic flows between food web components highlight the increasing impact of alien species over time. Fishing had noticeable impacts in both time periods and played an important role in the ecosystem. Despite different productivity rates and other environmental differences, the Israeli marine ecosystem shared common structural and functional traits with other Mediterranean marine ecosystems. This is the first attempt to study the ecosystem of the Levant region using mass-balance models and to integrate such a large amount of alien species into food web analyses.

Invasive lionfish had no measurable effect on prey fish community structure across the Belizean Barrier Reef

Hackerott S, Valdivia A, Cox CE, Silbiger NJ, Bruno JF. Invasive lionfish had no measurable effect on prey fish community structure across the Belizean Barrier Reef. PeerJ [Internet]. 2017 ;5:e3270. Available from: https://peerj.com/articles/3270/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Invasive lionfish are assumed to significantly affect Caribbean reef fish communities. However, evidence of lionfish effects on native reef fishes is based on uncontrolled observational studies or small-scale, unrepresentative experiments, with findings ranging from no effect to large effects on prey density and richness. Moreover, whether lionfish affect populations and communities of native reef fishes at larger, management-relevant scales is unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of lionfish on coral reef prey fish communities in a natural complex reef system. We quantified lionfish and the density, richness, and composition of native prey fishes (0–10 cm total length) at sixteen reefs along ∼250 km of the Belize Barrier Reef from 2009 to 2013. Lionfish invaded our study sites during this four-year longitudinal study, thus our sampling included fish community structure before and after our sites were invaded, i.e., we employed a modified BACI design. We found no evidence that lionfish measurably affected the density, richness, or composition of prey fishes. It is possible that higher lionfish densities are necessary to detect an effect of lionfish on prey populations at this relatively large spatial scale. Alternatively, negative effects of lionfish on prey could be small, essentially undetectable, and ecologically insignificant at our study sites. Other factors that influence the dynamics of reef fish populations including reef complexity, resource availability, recruitment, predation, and fishing could swamp any effects of lionfish on prey populations.

Arctic Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan

Anon. Arctic Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan. Akureyri, Iceland; 2017. Available from: https://caff.is/strategies-series/415-arctic-invasive-alien-species-strategy-and-action-plan
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The Arctic Invasive Alien Species (ARIAS) Strategy and Action Plan sets forth the priority actions that the Arctic Council and its partners are encouraged to take to protect the Arctic region from a significant threat: the adverse impacts of invasive alien species. These priority actions span terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems. The actions take environmental, cultural, and economic perspectives into consideration, including drivers, impacts, and response measures.

Utilizing environmental information and pricing strategies to reduce externalities of tourism: the case of invasive species in the Galapagos

Mejía CViteri, Brandt S. Utilizing environmental information and pricing strategies to reduce externalities of tourism: the case of invasive species in the Galapagos. Journal of Sustainable Tourism [Internet]. 2017 ;25(6):763 - 778. Available from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09669582.2016.1247847?journalCode=rsus20
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $42.00
Type: Journal Article

The increase in demand for nature-based tourism brings economic and educational benefits but risks the introduction of invasive species. Increasing the length of tourist trips can better balance these benefits and risks by maintaining revenues while reducing the number of unique contacts with tourists. Changing the relative prices of trips can induce tourists to take longer trips. We hypothesized that providing information about the negative externalities of tourism could improve the effectiveness of such pricing strategies.

We administered one of two discrete choice surveys to tourists considering a trip to the Galapagos. One of the surveys described the Galapagos as a fragile ecosystem susceptible to invasive species; the second described it as a standard nature-based destination. For each sample, we estimated the probability of the tourist choosing a short versus long trip, given the tourist's personal information and trip options presented to him. We then simulated the demand for trips using three pricing strategies. We found that providing information on invasive species significantly increased the efficacy of strategic pricing. We propose using a two-prong approach to tourism management: educate potential tourists about the islands’ vulnerabilities, and simultaneously increase the per-day cost of short trips relative to that of longer trips.

Evaluating the combined effects of ballast water management and trade dynamics on transfers of marine organisms by ships

Carney KJ, Minton MS, Holzer KK, A. Miller W, McCann LD, Ruiz GM. Evaluating the combined effects of ballast water management and trade dynamics on transfers of marine organisms by ships. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2017 ;12(3):e0172468. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0172468
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Global trade by merchant ships is a leading mechanism for the unintentional transfer of marine organisms, including non-indigenous species, to bays and estuaries worldwide. To reduce the likelihood of new invasions, ships are increasingly being required to manage their ballast water (BW) prior to discharge in coastal waters. In the United States, most overseas arrivals have been required to manage BW discharge since 2004, primarily through ballast water exchange (BWE), which flushes out ballast tanks in the open ocean (>200 miles from shore). Studies have found BWE to generally reduce the abundance of organisms, and the amount of water exchanged has been estimated at 96–100%. Despite its widespread use, the overall effect of this management strategy on net propagule supply through time has not been explored. Here, temporal changes in zooplankton concentrations and the volume of BW discharged in Chesapeake Bay, U.S. were evaluated, comparing pre-management era and post-management era time periods. Chesapeake Bay is a large port system that receives extensive BW discharge, especially from bulk cargo vessels (bulkers) that export coal overseas. For bulkers arriving from overseas, mean zooplankton concentrations of total and coastal indicator taxa in BW did not decline between pre- (1993–2000) and post management (2012–2013) eras, when controlling for season and sampling method. Moreover, bulkers discharged 21 million tonnes (82% of total for Chesapeake Bay) of overseas BW in 2013, representing a 374% increase in volume when compared to 2005. The combination of BW discharge volume and zooplankton concentration data indicates that (a) net propagule supply by bulkers has increased since BWE began in Chesapeake Bay; and (b) changes in vessel behaviour and trade have contributed strongly to this outcome. Specifically, the coal-driven increase in BW discharge volume from 2005–2013, concurrent with the onset of BWE regulations, worked to counteract intended results from BW management. A long-term analysis of bulker arrivals (1994–2013) reveals a 20-year minimum in arrival numbers in 2000, just when the implementation of BWE began. This study underscores the need to consider shifts in trade patterns, in order to advance and evaluate effective management strategies for biological invasions.

Gymnothorax spp. (Muraenidae) as natural predators of the lionfish Pterois miles in its native biogeographical range

Bos AR, Sanad AM, Elsayed K. Gymnothorax spp. (Muraenidae) as natural predators of the lionfish Pterois miles in its native biogeographical range. Environmental Biology of Fishes [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10641-017-0600-7
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

Lionfish (Pterois miles) were observed avoiding coral pinnacles inhabited by the moray eels Gymnothorax flavimarginatus and G. javanicus in the northern Red Sea, Egypt. Release of lionfish (Standard Length 93–104 mm) in such coral pinnacles in November 2016 resulted in almost immediate predation by large moray eels (Total Length > 1 m). Predation by moray eels may be the key control mechanism of population growth in the native biogeographical range of Pterois spp. and may indirectly explain the success of the invasive populations. This is the first video-documented record of moray eels feeding on the lionfish P. miles.

Marine protected communities against biological invasions: A case study from an offshore island

Gestoso I, Ramalhosa P, Oliveira P, Canning-Clode J. Marine protected communities against biological invasions: A case study from an offshore island. Marine Pollution Bulletin [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X17302242
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

Biological invasions are a major threat to the world's biota and are considered a major cause of biodiversity loss. Therefore, world marine policy has recognized the need for more marine protected areas (MPAs) as a major tool for biodiversity conservation. The present work experimentally evaluated how protected communities from an offshore island can face the settlement and/or expansion of nonindigenous species (NIS). First, NIS colonization success in marine protected and marina communities was compared by deploying PVC settling plates at the Garajau MPA and Funchal marina (SW Madeira Island). Then, the settling plates from the MPA were transferred to Funchal marina to test their resistance to NIS invasion under high levels of NIS pressure. Results indicated that the structure and composition of fouling communities from the MPA differed from those collected in the marina. Interestingly, communities from the protected area showed lower NIS colonization success, suggesting some degree of biotic resistance against NIS invasion.

Large-scale invasion of western Atlantic mesophotic reefs by lionfish potentially undermines culling-based management

Andradi-Brown DA, Vermeij MJA, Slattery M, Lesser M, Bejarano I, Appeldoorn R, Goodbody-Gringley G, Chequer AD, Pitt JM, Eddy C, et al. Large-scale invasion of western Atlantic mesophotic reefs by lionfish potentially undermines culling-based management. Biological Invasions [Internet]. 2017 ;19(3):939 - 954. Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10530-016-1358-0
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

The detrimental effects of invasive lionfishes (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles) on western Atlantic shallow reefs are well documented, including declines in coral cover and native fish populations, with disproportionate predation on critically endangered reef fish in some locations. Yet despite individuals reaching depths >100 m, the role of mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs; reefs 30–150 m) in lionfish ecology has not been addressed. With lionfish control programs in most invaded locations limited to 30 m by diving restrictions, understanding the role of MCEs in lionfish distributions remains a critical knowledge gap potentially hindering conservation management. Here we synthesise unpublished and previously published studies of lionfish abundance and body length at paired shallow reef (0–30 m) and MCE sites in 63 locations in seven western Atlantic countries and eight sites in three Indo-Pacific countries where lionfish are native. Lionfish were found at similar abundances across the depth gradient from shallow to adjacent MCEs, with no difference between invaded and native sites. Of the five invaded countries where length data were available three had larger lionfish on mesophotic than shallow reefs, one showed no significant difference, while the fifth represented a recently invaded site. This suggests at least some mesophotic populations may represent extensions of natural ontogenetic migrations. Interestingly, despite their shallow focus, in many cases culling programs did not appear to alter abundance between depths. In general, we identify widespread invasive lionfish populations on MCE that could be responsible for maintaining high densities of lionfish recruits despite local shallow-biased control programs. This study highlights the need for management plans to incorporate lionfish populations below the depth limit of recreational diving in order to address all aspects of the local population and maximise the effectiveness of control efforts.

Going deep for lionfish: designs for two new traps for capturing lionfish in deep water

Gittings SR, Fogg AQ, Frank S, Hart JV, Clark A, Clark B, Noakes SE, R. Fortner L. Going deep for lionfish: designs for two new traps for capturing lionfish in deep water. Silver Spring, MD: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries; 2017 p. 9 pp. Available from: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/science/conservation/lionfish-trap-guide.html
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

While sustained removals of lionfish in shallow water can limit the impacts of these invasive species in certain locations, devices conceived for deep water control have not yet proven effective. Two new trap designs are presented that can target lionfish in deep water and reduce negative effects on native species that are ecologically, recreationally, or commercially important. The traps may also support efforts to meet the increasing demand for lionfish in the seafood market. The proposed designs have structural components that provide vertical relief to attract lionfish, and low profile frames that remain open during deployment. They have several benefits over conventional fish traps, including high attraction rates for lionfish, limited or no by-catch, no mortality from containment during the soak period, no bait to attract non-targeted species, no potential for ghost fishing, and easy portability on a fishing vessel.

Space invaders; biological invasions in marine conservation planning

Giakoumi S, Guilhaumon F, Kark S, Terlizzi A, Claudet J, Felline S, Cerrano C, Coll M, Danovaro R, Fraschetti S, et al. Space invaders; biological invasions in marine conservation planning. Diversity and Distributions [Internet]. 2016 ;22(12):1220 - 1231. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ddi.12491/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Aim

Biological invasions are major contributors to global change and native biodiversity decline. However, they are overlooked in marine conservation plans. Here, we examine for the first time the extent to which marine conservation planning research has addressed (or ignored) biological invasions. Furthermore, we explore the change of spatial priorities in conservation plans when different approaches are used to incorporate the presence and impacts of invasive species.

Location

Global analysis with a focus on the Mediterranean Sea region.

Methods

We conducted a systematic literature review consisting of three steps: (1) article selection using a search engine, (2) abstract screening and (3) review of pertinent articles, which were identified in the second step. The information extracted included the scale and geographical location of each case study as well as the approach followed regarding invasive species. We also applied the software Marxan to produce and compare conservation plans for the Mediterranean Sea that either protect, or avoid areas impacted by invasives, or ignore the issue. One case study focused on the protection of critical habitats, and the other on endemic fish species.

Results

We found that of 119 papers on marine spatial plans in specific biogeographic regions, only three (2.5%) explicitly took into account invasive species. When comparing the different conservation plans for each case study, we found that the majority of selected sites for protection (ca. 80%) changed in the critical habitat case study, while this proportion was lower but substantial (27%) in the endemic fish species case study.

Main conclusions

Biological invasions are being widely disregarded when planning for conservation in the marine environment across local to global scales. More explicit consideration of biological invasions can significantly alter spatial conservation priorities. Future conservation plans should explicitly account for biological invasions to optimize the selection of marine protected areas.

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