Invasive Marine Seaweeds: Pest or Prize?

Chapter
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 219)

Abstract

Seaweeds were among the first harvested human food supplies in several parts of the world and are today valuable natural resources. They are, however, part of one of the most pressing conservation issues of our time: biological invasions. Global patterns of biodiversity are changing by relocations of organisms at the species and subspecies levels, with the latter often remaining cryptic. The increasing occurrence of marine invasions is mainly due to intensifying maritime traffic and global environmental changes. Following introduction, if suitable conditions for survival occur in the “recipient” environment, seaweeds will establish and spread. Many high-profile invasive seaweeds are commercially used in their native range and have biological traits similar to high-yield terrestrial crops, e.g., high growth rates. The incentives to introduce potentially invasive taxa for commercial use are significant. However, the associated environmental risks are high and robust strategies to prevent and control intentional and accidental seaweed introductions remain essential. For industrial and commercial use, preference should be given to the harvesting and culture of native seaweeds.

Keywords

Ballast Water Sensu Stricto Biological Trait Seaweed Species Chinese Mitten Crab 
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.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australian Institute of Marine ScienceTownsvilleAustralia

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