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Mar Pollut Bull. 2007;55(7-9):314-22. Epub 2007 Jan 12.

Loss or gain? Invasive aliens and biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea.

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National Institute of Oceanography, Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, POB 8030, Haifa 31080, Israel. <>


More than 500 alien species were listed from the Mediterranean Sea. Though no extinction of a native species is known, sudden decline in abundance, and even local extirpations, concurrent with proliferation of aliens, had been recorded. Examination of the profound ecological impacts of some of the most conspicuous invasive alien species underscores their role, among multiple anthropogenic stressors, in altering the infralittoral communities. Local population losses and niche contraction of native species may not induce immediate extirpation, but they augur reduction of genetic diversity, loss of functions, processes, and habitat structure, increase the risk of decline and extinction, and lead to biotic homogenization. The relevant environmental policy and management framework is discussed.

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