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Iceland: a laboratory for non-indigenous ascidians

Iceland: a laboratory for non-indigenous ascidians

Title: Iceland: a laboratory for non-indigenous ascidians
Author: Ramos Espla, Alfonso   orcid.org/0000-0002-6886-218X
Micael, Joana   orcid.org/0000-0003-4658-5692
Halldórsson, Halldór Pálmar   orcid.org/0000-0001-5529-1536
Gíslason, Sindri   orcid.org/0000-0002-6325-672X
Date: 2020-05-07
Language: English
Scope: 450-460
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
Department: Rannsóknasetur á Suðurnesjum (HÍ)
Research Centre in Suðurnes (UI)
Series: BioInvasions Records;9(3)
ISSN: 2242-1300
DOI: 10.3391/bir.2020.9.3.01
Subject: Biofouling; Global warming; Maritime traffic; NE Atlantic; Hlýnun jarðar; Norður-Atlantshaf; Botndýr
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2207

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Ramos-Esplá AA, Micael J, Halldórsson HP, Gíslason S (2020) Iceland: a laboratory for non-indigenous ascidians. BioInvasions Records 9(3): 450– 460, https://doi.org/10.3391/bir.2020.9.3.0


Non-indigenous species (NIS) represent a serious problem worldwide, where ascidians are one of the most important taxa. However, little has been done to document the non-indigenous ascidians in Iceland, and over the past decade only two species had been recorded prior to the present study, Ciona intestinalis in 2007 and Botryllus schlosseri in 2011. To increase the knowledge of this taxon, extensive sampling was carried out in shallow waters around Iceland, during the summer 2018, in ports and on ropes of a long-line mussel aquaculture. In total, eleven species were identified, four native and seven NIS, of which Diplosoma listerianum, Ascidiella aspersa, Botrylloides violaceus, Molgula manhattensis and Ciona cf. robusta, are now reported for the first time in Iceland. The highest abundance of non-indigenous ascidians appeared among the ports in southwestern Iceland (Sandgerði, Hafnarfjörður). As pointed out for other regions, the most likely vector is maritime traffic (hull fouling and ballast water), although other vectors cannot be ruled out. The future expansion of these non-indigenous ascidians around Iceland must be monitored, where local maritime traffic could play an important role. Furthermore, global warming may facilitate the access and establishment of these species in colder areas with arctic influence (north and east of Iceland), which are likely still free of these species.


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