, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 269-281

Blitzkrieg in a Marine Invasion: Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea (Bryopsidales, Chlorophyta) Reaches the Canary Islands (North-East Atlantic)

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On the basis of morphological and genetic studies (rDNA ITS1, 5.8S, ITS2, and a 18S rDNA intron), we confirm here that Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea (Sonder) Verlaque, Huisman et Boudouresque, a southwestern Australian taxon recently introduced into the Mediterranean Sea also occurs in the Canary Islands. This is the first report of C. racemosa var. cylindracea in the Atlantic. It was observed for the first time in the Canary Archipelago in 1997–1998. The speed and regional scale of expansion (north Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea) of this invasive species appear to be among the most dramatic ever recorded. The possible outcome of this introduction in the Atlantic is discussed.