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Nat Ecol Evol. 2019 May;3(5):787-800. doi: 10.1038/s41559-019-0851-0. Epub 2019 Apr 8.

Global ecological impacts of marine exotic species.

Author information

1
Red Sea Research Centre, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. andrea.antongamazo@kaust.edu.sa.
2
Red Sea Research Centre, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.
3
School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
4
Institute of Oceanography, Hellenic Center for Marine Research, Heraklion, Greece.
5
Global Change Research Group, Institut Mediterrani d'Estudis Avançats (IMEDEA), CSIC-UIB, Esporles, Spain.
6
Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory, Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium, Dauphin Island, AL, USA.
7
Department of Marine Sciences, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, USA.
8
Northern Gulf Institute, Mississippi State University, Stennis Space Center, MS, USA.
9
Arctic Research Centre, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
10
Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Silkeborg, Denmark.
11
Laboratorio de Ecologia, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC) CONICET-UNMdP, Mar de Plata, Argentina.
12
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
13
Computational Bioscience Research Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

Exotic species are a growing global ecological threat; however, their overall effects are insufficiently understood. While some exotic species are implicated in many species extinctions, others can provide benefits to the recipient communities. Here, we performed a meta-analysis to quantify and synthesize the ecological effects of 76 exotic marine species (about 6% of the listed exotics) on ten variables in marine communities. These species caused an overall significant, but modest in magnitude (as indicated by a mean effect size of g < 0.2), decrease in ecological variables. Marine primary producers and predators were the most disruptive trophic groups of the exotic species. Approximately 10% (that is, 2 out of 19) of the exotic species assessed in at least three independent studies had significant impacts on native species. Separating the innocuous from the disruptive exotic species provides a basis for triage efforts to control the marine exotic species that have the most impact, thereby helping to meet Aichi Biodiversity Target 9 of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

PMID:
30962561
DOI:
10.1038/s41559-019-0851-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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