Inventory of alien and cryptogenic species of the Dodecanese (Aegean Sea, Greece): Collaborations through COST action training school

Maria Corsini-Foka, Argyro Zenetos, Fabio Crocetta, Melih Cinar, Ferah Kocak, Daniel Golani, Stelios Katsanevakis, Konsantinos Tsiamis, Elizabeth Cottier-Cook, Carlo Froglia, Maria Triandaphyllou, Frederico Cardigos, Chris Nall, Helen Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The Dodecanese region has a high prevalence of marine alien species due to its close proximity to the Suez Canal and associated Suez shipping lanes, as well as its location at biogeographical border between sub-tropical and tropical biota. This region is therefore very important for the early detection of alien species entering the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal and it is imperative that monitoring of alien species is continued in order to assess the levels of biological invasion. We present results of marine alien surveys, carried out in April 2014 on the island of Rodos. Surveys were performed by a team of marine taxonomic experts and students as part of an EU wide training school, coordinated by the COST Action TD1209 “Alien Challenge”. A variety of survey methods were employed to cover a number of coastal habitats. These included: rapid assessment surveys of epibiota on artificial structures in harbours, rapid assessment snorkelling surveys of biota on sublittoral bedrock, and quantified fishing surveys (both boat-seine and trammel net fishing methods). A total of 33 alien and cryptogenic species were recorded across all the survey techniques. Of these species, 9 represented first records for Rodos: the foraminiferan Amphisorus hemprichii, the polychaetes Branchiomma bairdi, Dorvillea similis, Hydroides dirampha and Pseudonereis anomala, the molluscs Aplysia parvula, Chama pacifica and Septifer cumingii, and the bryozoan Hippopodina feegeensis. Of note the record of the Lessepsian invader Dorvillea similis represents the second record in the Mediterranean Sea. Alien fish species represented a small but notable proportion of the diversity, biomass and number of individuals in fishing catch of both fishing methods. All alien fish species observed were already known to be present in Rodos. The addition of species firstly recorded in this study brings the total number of marine alien and cryptogenic species in the Dodecanese region up to 129 species. The vast majority of these alien species have entered unaided via the Suez Canal, but an increasing number have been introduced through hull fouling or ballast water transfer from shipping. The results highlight the value of conducting marine alien surveys with teams of a diverse range of taxonomic expertise, both in its scientific output and student training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-366
Number of pages15
JournalManagement of Biological Invasions
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015

Keywords

  • Marine
  • Invasive
  • Monitoring

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