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Non-indigenous seaweeds in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and Macaronesia: a critical synthesis of diversity, spatial and temporal patterns
van der Loos, L.M.; Bafort, Q.; Bosch, S.; Ballesteros, E.; Barbara, I.; Berecibar, E.; Blanfune, A.; Bogaert, K.; Bouckenooghe, S.; Boudouresque, C.F.; Brodie, J.; Cecere, E.; Diaz-Tapia, P.; Engelen, A.H.; Gunnarson, K.; Shabaka, S.H.; Hoffman, R.; Husa, V.; Israel, A.; Karremans, M.; Knoop, J.; Le Gall, L.; Maggs, C.A.; Mineur, F.; Parente, M.; Perk, F.; Petrocelli, A.; Rodriguez-Prieto, C.; Ruitton, S.; Sanson, M.; Serrao, E.A.; Sfriso, A.; Sjotun, K.; Stiger-Pouvreau, V.; Surget, G.; Taskin, E.; Thibaut, T.; Tsiamis, K.; Van de Weghe, L.; Verlaque, M.; Viard, F.; Vranken, S.; Leliaert, F.; De Clerck, O. (2024). Non-indigenous seaweeds in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and Macaronesia: a critical synthesis of diversity, spatial and temporal patterns. Eur. J. Phycol. Latest Articles: 30.
In: European Journal of Phycology. Cambridge University Press/Taylor & Francis: Cambridge. ISSN 0967-0262; e-ISSN 1469-4433, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Chlorophyta [WoRMS]; Phaeophyceae [WoRMS]; Rhodophyta [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Biodiversity; Chlorophyta; Europe; invasive alien species; non-indigenous species; Phaeophyceae; Rhodophyta

Authors  Top 
  • van der Loos, L.M., more
  • Bafort, Q., more
  • Bosch, S., more
  • Ballesteros, E.
  • Barbara, I.
  • Berecibar, E.
  • Blanfune, A.
  • Bogaert, K., more
  • Bouckenooghe, S., more
  • Boudouresque, C.F.
  • Brodie, J.
  • Cecere, E.
  • Diaz-Tapia, P.
  • Engelen, A.H.
  • Gunnarson, K.
  • Shabaka, S.H.
  • Hoffman, R.
  • Husa, V.
  • Israel, A.
  • Karremans, M.
  • Knoop, J., more
  • Le Gall, L.
  • Maggs, C.A.
  • Mineur, F., more
  • Parente, M.
  • Perk, F.
  • Petrocelli, A.
  • Rodriguez-Prieto, C.
  • Ruitton, S.
  • Sanson, M.
  • Serrao, E.A.
  • Sfriso, A.
  • Sjotun, K.
  • Stiger-Pouvreau, V.
  • Surget, G.
  • Taskin, E.
  • Thibaut, T.
  • Tsiamis, K.
  • Van de Weghe, L., more
  • Verlaque, M.
  • Viard, F.
  • Vranken, S., more
  • Leliaert, F., more
  • De Clerck, O., more


    Effective monitoring of non-indigenous seaweeds and combatting their effects relies on a solid confirmation of the non-indigenous status of the respective species. We critically analysed the status of presumed non-indigenous seaweed species reported from the Mediterranean Sea, the Northeast Atlantic Ocean and Macaronesia, resulting in a list of 140 species whose non-indigenous nature is undisputed. For an additional 87 species it is unclear if they are native or non-indigenous (cryptogenic species) or their identity requires confirmation (data deficient species). We discuss the factors underlying both taxonomic and biogeographic uncertainties and outline recommendations to reduce uncertainty about the non-indigenous status of seaweeds. Our dataset consisted of over 19,000 distribution records, half of which can be attributed to only five species (Sargassum muticum, Bonnemaisonia hamifera, Asparagopsis armata, Caulerpa cylindracea and Colpomenia peregrina), while 56 species (40%) are recorded no more than once or twice. In addition, our analyses revealed considerable variation in the diversity of non-indigenous species between the geographic regions. The Eastern Mediterranean Sea is home to the largest fraction of non-indigenous seaweed species, the majority of which have a Red Sea or Indo-Pacific origin and have entered the Mediterranean Sea mostly via the Suez Canal. Non-indigenous seaweeds with native ranges situated in the Northwest Pacific make up a large fraction of the total in the Western Mediterranean Sea, Lusitania and Northern Europe, followed by non-indigenous species with a presumed Australasian origin. Uncertainty remains, however, regarding the native range of a substantial fraction of non-indigenous seaweeds in the study area. In so far as analyses of first detections can serve as a proxy for the introduction rate of non-indigenous seaweeds, these do not reveal a decrease in the introduction rate, indicating that the current measures and policies are insufficient to battle the introduction and spread of non-indigenous species in the study area.

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