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Introduced species in a tidal ecosystem of mud and sand: curse or blessing?
Reise, K.; Buschbaum, C.; Lackschewitz, D.; Thieltges, D.W.; Waser, A.M.; Wegner, K.M. (2023). Introduced species in a tidal ecosystem of mud and sand: curse or blessing? Mar. Biodiv. 53(1). https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12526-022-01302-3
In: Marine Biodiversity. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 1867-1616; e-ISSN 1867-1624, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Biodiversity; Climate change; Species introductions; Macrobenthos; Wadden Sea

Authors  Top 
  • Reise, K., more
  • Buschbaum, C., more
  • Lackschewitz, D.
  • Thieltges, D.W., more
  • Waser, A.M.
  • Wegner, K.M.

    For about a century, biodiversity in the tidal Wadden Sea (North Sea, European Atlantic) has increased by more than one hundred introduced species from overseas. Most originate from warmer waters and could facilitate the transformation of this coastal ecosystem to comply with climate warming. Some introduced species promote sediment stabilization and mud accretion. This could help tidal flats to keep up with sea level rise. Although some introduced species also entail negative effects, introductions have diversified lower food web levels, and may benefit foraging birds. So far, no resident populations have gone extinct because an introduced species had established. Rather than degrading the ecosystem, the establishment of introduced species seems to have raised the capacity to follow environmental change. We support increasing efforts against introductions to avoid risk. However, once species are integrated, the common condemnation attitude against “non-natives” or “aliens” ought to be reconsidered for tidal ecosystems of low biodiversity.

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