Hydrobiologia

, Volume 606, Issue 1, pp 105–116 | Cite as

Alien species in the Mediterranean Sea—which, when, where, why?

CHALLENGES TO MARINE ECOSYSTEMS

Abstract

A critical evaluation of more than 2,200 publications, some dating back to the late 1800s, established the presence, and traced the spatio-temporal spread, of 558 alien metazoan species in the Mediterranean Sea. The majority of aliens in the eastern Mediterranean entered through the Suez Canal, whereas mariculture and shipping are powerful means of introduction in the northwestern Mediterranean and in the Adriatic Sea. Most aliens are thermophilic species. The possible causes for the epic scale of invasion in the Mediterranean Sea are discussed.

Keywords

Bioinvasion Alien species Mediterranean Dataset Stressors Global warming 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I am grateful to my colleagues, C. Bogi, M. Çinar, J. Corbera, R. Huys, H. Mienis, F. Mineur, A. Occhipinti-Ambrogi, P. Schembri, M. Verlaque, and B. Yokes, for generously sharing with me information on alien species. M. Cooper, L. Shoval, and S. Usvyatsov provided much-needed help throughout the project. Special thanks to the librarians of the American Museum of Natural History, New York; and Israel Oceanographic & Limnological Research, Haifa. This review was supported by the European Commission’s 6th Framework Programme DAISIE (contract SSPI-CT-2003-511202).

Supplementary material

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of OceanographyIsrael Oceanographic & Limnological ResearchHaifaIsrael

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