Mapping Ireland's Marine Invasive Species: Applying modelling approaches to assess the spread and management of marine non-indigenous species

Rebecca Giesler, Morane Clavel-Henry, Tasman Crowe, Jon Yearsley

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Abstract

The growth in marine activity and global trade has led to rising numbers of marine species being
transported around the world. This has led to a global trend of increasing numbers of marine non-indigenous species (NIS) becoming established, including in Irish waters. A small proportion of NIS may go on to spread widely within their recipient habitats and cause environmental or socio-economic impacts. These are known as invasive alien species (IAS), and the potential harm some of these IAS can cause has led to international and national policies that require measures to manage these introductions and their impacts.
To make informed decisions to manage IAS, policymakers need information on the potential of species spread, the potential impact, and the viability of potential control strategies. However, information is often lacking either because an IAS is yet to establish in an area, or because resources are insufficient to survey the entire IAS’s range. One source of information comes from combining the results of larval transport modelling (that determines where larvae may spread to from a given source) and species distribution modelling (that determines where larvae may settle, survive and become established).
This combination allows a spatial map of an IAS’s potential spread to be estimated. This project aimed to develop larval transport and species distribution models for two focal NIS, in order to demonstrate the applicability of this combined approach for decision-making about NIS
management in Ireland. The two focal NIS were: the Pacific oyster (Magallana gigas) and the Asian
shore crab (Hemigrapsus sanguineus). These two NIS were chosen to provide contrasting life history characteristics and scenarios of introduction and spread. The Pacific oyster is cultivated as an aquaculture species and has wild populations already established in Ireland. The Asian shore crab is a horizon species predicted to arrive in Ireland within the next decade.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyMarine Institute
Number of pages146
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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