Invasive Aquatic Species of Europe. Distribution, Impacts and Management

pp 217-231

Life in Ballast Tanks

  • Stephan GollaschAffiliated withGoConsult
  • , Elspeth MacdonaldAffiliated withFood Standards Agency
  • , Sara BelsonAffiliated withMaritime Research Centre, Southampton Institute
  • , Helge BotnenAffiliated withSection of Applied Environmental Research, High Technology Centre, UNIFOB
  • , Jens T. ChristensenAffiliated withDept. of Marine Ecology, Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Aarhus
  • , John P. HamerAffiliated withSchool of Ocean Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor
  • , Guy HouvenaghelAffiliated withUniversité Libre de Bruxelles
  • , Anders JelmertAffiliated withAustevoll Aquaculture Research Station, Institute of Marine Research
  • , Ian LucasAffiliated withSchool of Ocean Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor
    • , Daniel MassonAffiliated withStation de La Trembalde, IFREMER
    • , Tracy McCollinAffiliated withFRS Marine Laboratory
    • , Sergej OleninAffiliated withCoastal Research and Planning Institute, Klaipeda University
    • , Agneta PerssonAffiliated withDepartment of Marine Botany, Göteborg University
    • , Inger WallentinusAffiliated withDepartment of Marine Botany, Göteborg University
    • , Lambertus P. M. J. WetsteynAffiliated withNational Institute for Coastal and Marine Management
    • , Thomas WittlingAffiliated withInstitut für Hydrobiologie und Fischereiwissenschaft, Universität Hamburg

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The abundance and diversity of species in ballast water, a recognised vector for the accidental introduction of nonindigenous organisms, has been examined through many studies around the world over the last 25 years. The results of European research activities are summarised in this contribution by outlining the objectives of some of these studies, and by focusing on the diversity of taxa determined from ballast water and tank sediment samples. In total 1508 samples (1219 ballast water, 289 tank sediment) were collected on 550 ships. A total of 990 taxa were identified during the 14 European shipping studies. The diversity of species found included bacteria, fungi, protozoans, algae, invertebrates of different life stages including resting stages, and fishes with a body length up to 15 cm. Crustacean, molluscan and polychaete invertebrates and algae form the majority of species found.