Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Persistence of biological invasion effects: recovery of macroalgal assemblages after removal of Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea.

Abstract

The present study evaluated the capability of recovery of Mediterranean macroalgal assemblages on rocky bottom invaded by Caulerpa racemosa. A manipulative experiment was performed to compare the structure of native assemblages that: (a) were invaded by the alga, (b) were invaded, but where the invasive alga was removed, and (c) had never been invaded. Macroalgal assemblages differed significantly between areas invaded by C. racemosa and control areas. Moreover, one year after removal of the invader, the recovery of community was minimal. Overall, recovery consisted of a significant increase in species richness and cover of macroalgae, but cover of each vegetation layer (encrusting, turf and erect) did not vary significantly between cleared and Invaded plots through time. Results showed that the effects of the colonization persist after the removal of the alga and the process of recovery of the assemblages appears to be quite slow. This finding might be an important contribution to evaluate invasion costs and thus potentially useful for an effective addressing of control strategies.