Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 529–541

Introduced Macroalgae – a Growing Concern

  • Britta Schaffelke
  • Jennifer E. Smith
  • Chad L. Hewitt

DOI: 10.1007/s10811-006-9074-2

Cite this article as:
Schaffelke, B., Smith, J.E. & Hewitt, C.L. J Appl Phycol (2006) 18: 529. doi:10.1007/s10811-006-9074-2


Introductions of non-indigenous species to new ecosystems are one of the major threats to biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services. Globally, species introductions may lead to biotic homogenisation, in synergy with other anthropogenic disturbances such as climate change and coastal pollution. Successful marine introductions depend on (1) presence of a transport vector, uptake of propagules and journey survival of the species; (2) suitable environmental conditions in the receiving habitat; and (3) biological traits of the invader to facilitate establishment. Knowledge has improved of the distribution, biology and ecology of high profile seaweed invaders, e.g. Caulerpataxifolia, Codium fragile ssp. tomentosoides, Sargassummuticum, and Undariapinnatifida. Limited, regional information is available for less conspicuous species. The mechanisms of seaweed introductions are little understood as research on introduced seaweeds has been mostly reactive, following discoveries of introductions. Sources of introductions mostly cannot be determined with certainty apart from those directly associated with aquaculture activities and few studies have addressed the sometimes serious ecological and economic impacts of seaweed introductions. Future research needs to elucidate the invasion process, interactions between invaders, and impacts of introductions to support prevention and management of seaweed introductions.


introduced speciesinvasion biologyinvasive macroalgae

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Britta Schaffelke
    • 1
    • 4
  • Jennifer E. Smith
    • 2
    • 5
  • Chad L. Hewitt
    • 3
    • 6
  1. 1.CRC Reef Research Centre and James Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of Hawaii ManoaHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.Ministry of Agriculture and ForestryBiosecurity New ZealandWellingtonNew Zealand
  4. 4.Australian Institute of Marine ScienceTownsvilleAustralia
  5. 5.University of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA
  6. 6.National Centre for Marine and Coastal ConservationAustralian Maritime CollegeRosebudAustralia