The English Channel: Becoming like the Seas Around Japan

  • Jean-Claude DauvinEmail author
  • Jean-Philippe Pezy
  • Alexandrine Baffreau
Conference paper


The European seas are known to be the recipient of several hundreds of Non-Native Species (NNS). Two main origins have been identified: from shipping, including discharge of ballast waters and biofouling, and through voluntary introduction in aquaculture. There are more than one hundred NNS recorded in the English Channel, which remains low in comparison with the number of marine invertebrate species known in the EC (>3000). The main sites of introduction are the harbours, especially Le Havre. Among these NNS, 54 species come from the seas off Japan, and are now present in 48 established populations. In this study, we provide comments on the taxonomic groups, introduction pathways, distributions and population dynamics of listed NNS in the EC. Three specific examples of invasive species are described in detail, the oyster Magallena gigas and the two crabs Hemigrapsus sanguineus and H. takanoi. These species have changed the dynamics and functioning of the foreshore and coastal ecosystems, where they make up abundant populations. In fact, the oyster is now a key species for the French economy, while the rapid expansion of both crabs could be a problem for the development of oyster and mussel aquaculture since they are predators of young bivalves.


Non-native species English channel Japanese origin Hemigrapsus spp Magallena gigas 



The authors thank M. Carpenter for the English language revision, and the “Agence de l’Eau Seine Normandie” for its financial support of the 2016–2017 project “Réalisation d’un guide des espèces marines animales et végétales non indigènes dans les eaux normandes de la baie du Mont-Saint Michel à l’estuaire de l’Authie”. They are also grateful to S. Jobert, M. Rocroy, B. de Boisgelin and L. Lefort for their help during Hemigrapsus sampling and C. Dancie and T. Ruellet for their participation in the inter-regional Normandy Picardy project COHENOPI. This study received also financial support from the French national programme EC2CO entitled ‘Colonisation des côtes par deux espèces du genre Hemigrapsus: origine, état des lieux et compétition interspécifique en Manche/Mer du Nord’. Jean-Claude Dauvin acknowledges the Japanese-French Oceanographic Society in Japan and its President, Professor Teruhisa Komatsu (SFJO-J), for his invitation to take part in the 16th Japanese-French Oceanography Symposium, held in Tohoku/Tokyo, Japan, from 17–21 November 2015, on the topic ‘The sea under human and natural impacts: Challenge of oceanography to the future earth’.


  1. Blanchard M, Goulletquer P, Hamon D, LeMao P, Nezan E, Gentil F, Simon N, Viard F, Ar Gall E, Grall J, Hily C, Le Duff M, Stiger-Pouvreau V, Acou A, Derrien-Courtel S, Feunteun E, D’ondt JL, Canard A, Ysnel F, Perrin B, Cabioc’h J, Gruet Y, Le Roux A (2010) Liste des espèces marines introduites dans les eaux bretonnes et des espèces introduites envahissantes des eaux périphériques. Synthèse élaborée par l’bservatoire du Patrimoine Naturel de Bretagne, mars 2010:
  2. Breton G, Faasse M, Noël P, Vincent T (2002) A new alien crab in Europe: Hemigrapsus sanguineus (Decapoda: Brachyura: Grapsidae). J Crust Biol 22:184–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Breton G (2014) Espèces introduites ou invasives des ports du Havre, d’Antifer et de Rouen (Normandie, France). Hydroécol Appliq 18:23–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Buleon P, Shurmer-Smith L (2007) Espace Manche, un monde en Europe. Channel Spaces, a world within Europe. Editions Armand Colin, Paris, France, p 198Google Scholar
  5. Buleon P (2013) Prospective espace Manche. Transports—energies. CAMIS Project Report, Rouen, France, p 20Google Scholar
  6. Brusati E, Grosholz ED (2006) Native and introduced ecosystem engineers produce contrasting effects on estuarine infaunal communities. Biol Inv 8:683–695CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Coll M, Piroddi C, Steenbeck J, Kashner K, Lasram FBR, Aguzzi J, Ballesteros E, Bianchi CN, Corbera J, Dailianis T, Danovarp R, Estrada M, Froglia C, Galil BS, Gasol JM, Gertwagen R, Gil J, Guihaumon F, Kesner-Reyes K, Kitsos MS, Koukouras A, Lampadario N, Laxamana E, Lopez De La Cuadra CM, Lotze HK, Martin D, Mouillot D, Oro D, Raicevich S, Rius-Barile J, Saiz-Salinas JI, San Vicente C, Somot S, Templado J, Turon X, Vafidis D, Villanueva R, Voultsiadou E (2010) The biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: estimates, patterns, and threats. PLoS ONE 5:1–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Carlton JT (1996) Pattern, process, and prediction in marine invasion ecology. Biol Conserv 78:97–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Daisie (Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventory for Europe) (2009): Handbook on Alien Species in Europe. ISBN 978-1-4020-8279-5. Accessed 17 Nov 2008
  10. Dauvin JC (2009a) Records of the Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus (Crustacea: Brachyura: Grapsoidea) in the Cotentin, Normandy, English Channel. Aquat Inv 4:467–472CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dauvin JC (2009b) Asian Shore Crabs Hemigrapsus spp. (Crustacea: Brachyura: Grapsoidea) continue their invasion around the Cotentin Peninsula, Normandy, France: Status of the Hemigrapsus population in 2009. Aquat Inv 4:605–611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dauvin JC, Tous Rius A, Ruellet T (2009) Recent expansion of two invasive crabs species Hemigrapsus sanguineus (De Haan 1835) and H. takanoi (Asakura and Watanabe 2005) along the Opal Coast. France Aquat Inv 4:451–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dauvin JC, Delhay JB (2010) First record of Hemigrapsus takanoi Asakura and Watanabe 2005 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Grapsidae) on the western coast of northern Cotentin, Normandy, western English Channel. Mar Biodiv Rec 3: e101. (Published online)Google Scholar
  14. Dauvin JC, Dufosse F (2011) Hemigrapsus sanguineus (De Haan 1835) (Crustacea: Brachyura: Grapsoidea) a new invasive species in European waters: the case of the French English Channel coast (2008–2010). Aquat Inv 6:429–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dauvin JC (2012) Are the eastern and western basins of the English Channel two separate ecosystems? Mar Poll Bull 64:463–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dauvin JC, Dancie C, Jego Y, Lecornu B, Rocroy M, Ruellet T (2013) Etat de la colonisation des décapodes invasifs du genre Hemigrapsus sur le littoral normand-picard (COHENOPI). Rapport final juin 2013 au Réseau d’Observation du Littoral Normand Picard, UMR Morphologie Continentale et Côtière, Caen, France, 18 ppGoogle Scholar
  17. David M, Gollasch S (2008) EU shipping in the dawn of managing the ballast water issue. Mar Poll Bull 56:1966–1972CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Delaney D, Sperling C, Adams C, Leung B (2008) Marine invasive species: validation ofcitizen science and implications for national monitoring networks. Biol Inv 10:117–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dewarumez JM, Gevaert F, Masse C, Foveau A, Desroy N, Grulois D (2011) Les espèces marines animales et végétales introduites dans le bassin Artois-Picardie. UMR CNRS 8187 LOG et Agence de l’Eau Artois-Picardie, Wimereux, France, 140 ppGoogle Scholar
  20. Gothland M, Dauvin JC, Denis L, Jobert S, Ovaert J, Pezy JP, Spilmont N (2013) Additional records and current distribution (2012) of Hemigrapsus sanguineus (De Haan 1835) along the French Coast of the English Channel. Manag Biol Inv 4:305–315Google Scholar
  21. Gollasch S, Haydar D, Minchin D, Wolff WJ, Reise K (2009) Introduced aquatic species of the North Sea coasts and adjacent brackish waters. Ecol. Stud. 204:507–528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gothland M, Dauvin JC, Denis L, Duffossé F, Jobert S, Ovaert J, Pezy JP, Tous Rius A, Spilmont N (2014) Habitat preference and population characteristics explain the distribution and colonisation ability of the invasive shore crab Hemigrapsus takanoi. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 142:41–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Goulletquer P, Bachelet G, Sauriau PG, Noël P (2002) Open Atlantic coast of Europe-a century of introduced species into French waters. In: Leppäkoski E, Gollasch S, Olenin S (eds) Invasive aquatic species of Europe: distribution, impacts and management. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp 276–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Halpern BS, Walbridge S, Selkoe KA, Kappel CV, Micheli F, D’Agrosa C, Bruno JF, Casey KS, Ebert C, Fox HE, Fujita R, Heinemann D, Lenihan HS, Madin EMP, Perry MT, Selig ER, Spalding M, Steneckand R, Watson R (2008) A global map of human impact on marine ecosystems. Science 319:948–952CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Katsanevakis S, Gatto F, Zenetos A, Cardoso AC (2013) How many marine aliens in Europe? Manag Biol Inv 1:37–42Google Scholar
  26. Katsanevakis S, Wallentinus I, Zenetos A, Leppäkoski E, Çinar ME, Oztürk B, Grabowski JH, Golani D, Cardoso AC (2014) Impacts of invasive alien marine species on ecosystem services and biodiversity: a Pan-European review. Aqua Inv 9:391–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lejart M, Hily C (2011) Differential response of benthic macrofauna to the formation of novel oyster reefs (Crassostrea gigas, Thunberg) on soft and rocky substrate in the intertidal of the Bay of Brest, France. J Sea Res 65:84–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Markert A, Esser W, Franck D, Wehrmann A, Exo KM (2013) Habitat change by the formation of alien Crassostrea-reefs in the Wadden Sea and its role as feeding sites for waterbirds. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 131:41–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Minchin D, Cook EJ, Clark PF (2013) Alien species in British brackish and marine waters. Aqua Inv 8:3–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Molnar JL, Gamboa RL, Revenga C, Spalding MD (2008) Assessing the global threat of invasive species to marine biodiversity. Front Ecol Environ 6:485–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nunes AL, Katsanevakis S, Zenetos A, Cardoso AC (2014) Gateways to alien invasions in the European seas. Aqua Inv 9:133–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pezy JP, Dauvin JC (2015) Are mussel beds a favourable habitat for settlement of Hemigrapsus sanguineus? Aqua Inv 10:51–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rocroy M (2013) Etat de la colonisation des crustacés décapodes du genre Hemigrapsus sur le littoral bas-normand et implication du facteur abiotique dans l’évolution de leur invasion. Rapport de stage de Master 2, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris VI, France, 32 ppGoogle Scholar
  34. Sousa R, Gutierrez JL, Aldridge DC (2009) Non-Indigenous Invasive bivalves as ecosystem engineers. Biol. Inv. 11:2367–2385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Stiger-Pouvreau V, Thouzeau G (2015) Marine species introduced on the French Channel-Atlantic coasts: a review of main biological invasions and impacts. Open J Ecol 5:227–257. Scholar
  36. Troost K (2010) Causes and effects of a highly successful marine invasion: case-study of the introduced Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas in continental NW European estuaries. J Sea Res 64:145–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Vincent T (2015) L’ethnologie du ver de vase sur le littoral de la Manche orientale, en particulier au Havre (Seine Maritime): une histoire sociale mouvementée et une perspective écologique inquiétante. Bull Soc Sci Nat Ouest France, n.s 37: 219–231Google Scholar
  38. Walles B, Mann R, Ysebaert T, Troost K, Herman PMJ (2015) Demography of the ecosystem engineer Crassostrea gigas related to vertical reef accretion and reef persistence. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 154:224–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Williamson M, Fitter A (1996) The varying success of invaders. Ecology 77:1661–1666CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Claude Dauvin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jean-Philippe Pezy
    • 1
  • Alexandrine Baffreau
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire Morphodynamique Continentale et CôtièreNormandie Univ—UNICAEN, UMR CNRS 6143CaenFrance

Personalised recommendations