Biological Invasions

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 215–237 | Cite as

Alien species along the Italian coasts: an overview

  • Anna Occhipinti-Ambrogi
  • Agnese Marchini
  • Grazia Cantone
  • Alberto Castelli
  • Carla Chimenz
  • Mario Cormaci
  • Carlo Froglia
  • Giovanni Furnari
  • Maria Cristina Gambi
  • Giuseppe Giaccone
  • Adriana Giangrande
  • Cinzia Gravili
  • Francesco Mastrototaro
  • Cristina Mazziotti
  • Lidia Orsi-Relini
  • Stefano Piraino
Original Paper

Abstract

We present a contribution to the knowledge of marine and brackish water alien species (infraspecific taxa included) recorded along the Italian coasts. The Italian Peninsula, with over 7,000 km of coastline, is located in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, splitting the Western and the Eastern basins. Data were collected from published material, mostly authored by the experts of different marine taxa participating in the “Allochthonous Species Group” of the Italian Society of Marine Biology (SIBM). The data have been reviewed according to the taxonomic expertise of the authors and are organized in a referenced database containing information on each species about: distribution along Italian coasts, the native range, most probable vectors of introduction, population status and impact. The total number of marine alien species recorded along Italian coasts during the selected time period 1945–2009 is relatively high: 165 species, in many cases native from tropical regions of the world. Most of them were introduced in the 1980s and 1990s, whereas in the last few years the number of new records has decreased. The highest number of alien species has been observed in the northern Adriatic Sea, particularly in the Lagoon of Venice, which is the main hotspot of introduction. Of the total number of species, 46% was unable to establish resident populations in the Italian seas; 15% (24 species) rapidly increased their populations and extended their geographical range, consequently they may be considered invasive species.

Keywords

Allochthonous species Non-indigenous species Italy Mediterranean Sea Vectors of introduction Marine invertebrates Fishes Macrophytes 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Occhipinti-Ambrogi
    • 1
  • Agnese Marchini
    • 1
  • Grazia Cantone
    • 2
  • Alberto Castelli
    • 3
  • Carla Chimenz
    • 4
  • Mario Cormaci
    • 5
  • Carlo Froglia
    • 6
  • Giovanni Furnari
    • 5
  • Maria Cristina Gambi
    • 7
  • Giuseppe Giaccone
    • 5
  • Adriana Giangrande
    • 8
  • Cinzia Gravili
    • 8
  • Francesco Mastrototaro
    • 9
  • Cristina Mazziotti
    • 10
  • Lidia Orsi-Relini
    • 11
  • Stefano Piraino
    • 8
  1. 1.DET-Dipartimento di Ecologia del TerritorioUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Biologia Animale “M. La Greca”University of CataniaCataniaItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di BiologiaUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e dell’UomoUniversity “La Sapienza” of RomaRomeItaly
  5. 5.Dipartimento di BotanicaUniversity of CataniaCataniaItaly
  6. 6.CNR-ISMAR, Sede Ancona, Largo Fiera della PescaAnconaItaly
  7. 7.Stazione Zoologica “Anton Dohrn”, Benthic Ecology Group, Villa Dohrn, Punta S. PietroIschia, NapoliItaly
  8. 8.CONISMA-Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Scienze del Mare (ULR Lecce), DiSTeBA-Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed AmbientaliUniversity of SalentoLecceItaly
  9. 9.Dipartimento di Biologia Animale ed AmbientaleUniversity of BariBariItaly
  10. 10.ARPA Emilia-Romagna, Struttura Oceanografica DaphneCesenaticoItaly
  11. 11.DipTeRis-Dipartimento per lo studio del Territorio e delle sue RisorseUniversity of GenoaGenoaItaly

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