Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Invasive marine species discovered on non–native kelp rafts in the warmest Antarctic island

Avila, Conxita; Angulo-Preckler, Carlos; Martín-Martín, Rafael P.; Figuerola, Blanca; Griffiths, Huw James; Waller, Catherine Louise

Authors

Conxita Avila

Carlos Angulo-Preckler

Rafael P. Martín-Martín

Blanca Figuerola

Huw James Griffiths



Abstract

© 2020, The Author(s). Antarctic shallow coastal marine communities were long thought to be isolated from their nearest neighbours by hundreds of kilometres of deep ocean and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The discovery of non–native kelp washed up on Antarctic beaches led us to question the permeability of these barriers to species dispersal. According to the literature, over 70 million kelp rafts are afloat in the Southern Ocean at any one time. These living, floating islands can play host to a range of passenger species from both their original coastal location and those picked in the open ocean. Driven by winds, currents and storms towards the coast of the continent, these rafts are often cited as theoretical vectors for the introduction of new species into Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands. We found non-native kelps, with a wide range of “hitchhiking” passenger organisms, on an Antarctic beach inside the flooded caldera of an active volcanic island. This is the first evidence of non-native species reaching the Antarctic continent alive on kelp rafts. One passenger species, the bryozoan Membranipora membranacea, is found to be an invasive and ecologically harmful species in some cold-water regions, and this is its first record from Antarctica. The caldera of Deception Island provides considerably milder conditions than the frigid surrounding waters and it could be an ideal location for newly introduced species to become established. These findings may help to explain many of the biogeographic patterns and connections we currently see in the Southern Ocean. However, with the impacts of climate change in the region we may see an increase in the range and number of organisms capable of surviving both the long journey and becoming successfully established.

Citation

Avila, C., Angulo-Preckler, C., Martín-Martín, R. P., Figuerola, B., Griffiths, H. J., & Waller, C. L. (2020). Invasive marine species discovered on non–native kelp rafts in the warmest Antarctic island. Scientific reports, 10(1), https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-58561-y

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 17, 2020
Online Publication Date Jan 31, 2020
Publication Date Dec 1, 2020
Deposit Date Feb 12, 2020
Publicly Available Date Feb 12, 2020
Journal Scientific Reports
Print ISSN 2045-2322
Electronic ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 1
Article Number 1639
DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-58561-y
Keywords Ecology; Environmental impact
Public URL https://hull-repository.worktribe.com/output/3427702
Publisher URL https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-58561-y
Additional Information Received: 24 May 2019; Accepted: 17 January 2020; First Online: 31 January 2020; : The authors declare no competing interests.

Files

Published article (1.6 Mb)
PDF

Publisher Licence URL
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Copyright Statement
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.



You might also like



Downloadable Citations