New marine species found in Liguria
Is it possible that some alien marine species native to the Galapagos Islands, together with mini Japanese crustaceans and plankton originating in Southeast Asia, have colonized part of the Mediterranean?
The researchers installed 50 PVC panels to facilitate colonization by encrusting organisms. After three months, the panels were analysed at the ENEA Marine Environment Research Centre of Santa Teresa, in the Gulf of La Spezia.
“Each panel was colonized by an abundant community of native and non-native species, some of which had never been reported in the Gulf of La Spezia, such as the bryozoan species Watersipora arcuata, native to the Pacific Ocean”, explained Agnese Marchini, University of Pavia. “Alien species, constantly increasing in the Mediterranean, alter marine communities and ecosystems and pose a threat to biodiversity”.
As part of the same research, information was collected on the routes of introduction followed by invasive species and on the sites that are most susceptible to biological invasions.
“The presence of an important commercial port and of numerous marinas make the Gulf of La Spezia a very interesting area for this type of study, since it has several sites considered to be at high risk of introduction of non-native species”, underlined Chiara Lombardi from ENEA.