Marine Biology

, 163:245 | Cite as

Spatially explicit risk assessment for coastal invaders under different management scenarios

  • Sandra M. Fiori
  • Paula D. Pratolongo
  • Sergio M. Zalba
  • María E. Carbone
  • María E. Bravo
Invasive Species - Original paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Invasive Species


Biological invasions are particularly challenging in marine environments, where control strategies are scarce and efforts to reduce the abundance of the invader are costly and difficult, often representing insurmountable challenges. However, the magnitude of the impact of the invasion depends not only on the characteristics of the invading species, but also on the inherent features of the receiving environment; managing the environmental matrix could therefore be the best option for preventing or reducing undesired effects. The objective of the present work was to develop a spatially explicit risk-based approach to evaluate the effectiveness of different management practices designed to mitigate the potential impacts of the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) in the Bahía Blanca estuary (38°50′S, 62°20′W). A Risk Index (RI) was constructed to assess the potential negative impact of oyster bed expansion on environmental values and human health. RI maps were built to compare the potential effects of different management options in terms of risk reduction. An integral sanitation program within the coastal zone produced the largest reduction in the areas previously ranked as under very low, low, medium, high, and very high risk. Treatment of domestic sewage produced a major reduction in the areas under high and medium risk, mainly in the inner zone of the estuary, but changes in the area under very high risk were negligible. Removal of oysters at specific locations had a modest effect on risk reduction in terms of the whole area, but produced significant improvements at a local scale.


Risk Index Middle Reach Domestic Sewage Management Scenario Pacific Oyster 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank three reviewers for their constructive comments, which helped us to improve the manuscript. We also thank Eder Dos Santos for field support. This research was funded through research grant by Universidad Nacional del Sur, through a Grant (SECyT-UNS. PGI 24/ZB40).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Argentino de OceanografíaUniversidad Nacional del Sur, CONICET, IADOBahía BlancaArgentina
  2. 2.Departamento de Biología, Bioquímica y FarmaciaUniversidad Nacional del SurBahía BlancaArgentina

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