Styela clava Herdman (Urochordata, Ascidiacea), a successful immigrant to North West Europe: ecology, propagation and chronology of spread

  • J. Lützen


Since its first occurrence at Plymouth, southern England, in 1952 the East Asiatic ascidianStyela clava has spread to many localities along the coasts of the south and west British Isles, Ireland, northern France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. While some dispersal may occur by natural means, spreading over long distances is probably due to transfer along with oysters when relaid elsewhere. Transport while attached to the hulls of ships or driftingSargassum is also possible.Styela clava is a large, hardy and fast-growing species with a tough, leathery tunic, and has no recorded enemies or native analogues among the NW European ascidian fauna. At many sites it has established dense populations of 500–1000 specimens/m2 and in some cases has nearly outcompeted some of the native ascidian species.


English Summary Hyposaline Ciona Intestinalis Solitary Ascidian Tidal Emersion 
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Copyright information

© Biologische Anstalt Helgoland 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Lützen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoomorphologyZoological InstituteCopenhagenDenmark

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