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Mar Pollut Bull. 2010 Oct;60(10):1691-700. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.06.046. Epub 2010 Jul 22.

Assessing impacts of invasive phytoplankton: the Baltic Sea case.

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Coastal Research and Planning Institute, Klaipeda University, Manto str. 84, Klaipeda, Lithuania.


There is an increasing understanding and requirement to take into account the effects of invasive alien species (IAS) in environmental quality assessments. While IAS are listed amongst the most important factors threatening marine biodiversity, information on their impacts remains unquantified, especially for phytoplankton species. This study attempts to assess the impacts of invasive alien phytoplankton in the Baltic Sea during 1980-2008. A bioinvasion impact assessment method (BPL - biopollution level index) was applied to phytoplankton monitoring data collected from eleven sub-regions of the Baltic Sea. BPL takes into account abundance and distribution range of an alien species and the magnitude of the impact on native communities, habitats and ecosystem functioning. Of the 12 alien/cryptogenic phytoplankton species recorded in the Baltic Sea only one (the dinoflagellate Prorocentrum minimum) was categorized as an IAS, causing a recognizable environmental effect.

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