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Mediterranean non indigenous species at the start of the 2020s: recent changes
Zenetos, A.; Galanidi, M. (2020). Mediterranean non indigenous species at the start of the 2020s: recent changes. Marine Biodiversity Records 13: 10.
In: Marine Biodiversity Records. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. e-ISSN 1755-2672, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Alien species
Author keywords
    Mediterranean inventory, Updates, Range expansion

Authors  Top 
  • Zenetos, A., more
  • Galanidi, M.

    The current amendments to the Mediterranean marine Non-Indigenous Species (NIS) inventory for the period 2017-2019 are the result of a continuous literature search and update of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) offline database. They take into account recent findings, previously missed records, back-dated records based on the re-examination of existing material or phylogenetic studies and changes in nomenclature. During the period 2017-2019, 70 new species were added to the inventory of established species, 25 that had escaped our attention in the past and 23 newly introduced, which have already established self-sustaining populations. Meanwhile, 22 species previously known only with casual records have established viable populations and a total of 36 species have expanded their distribution into new Marine Strategy Framework Directive regions, primarily the Central Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea. Intensified research efforts, prompted by the reporting obligations created by recent legislation, complemented by ever expanding networks and initiatives involving citizen scientists have certainly contributed to higher rates of discovery of alien species presences. However, the expansion of tropical and sub-tropical species into the cooler waters of the Aegean, the Adriatic and the western Mediterranean indicates that the warming of Mediterranean waters due to climate change is also facilitating the geographic expansion of NIS in the region. The rate of new introductions in this 3-year period is 8 species per year for the whole Mediterranean, without taking into account casual records or species with reporting lags. Only 4 species per year enter through the Suez Canal, while a considerable number of species are introduced through shipping vectors and the aquarium trade. Acknowledging the dynamic nature of invasions and the uncertainty inherent in compiling check lists, we consider the present work as the most accurate and up-to-date NIS list to inform policy, management and decision-making.

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