Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Spreading and autoecology of the invasive species Gracilaria vermiculophylla (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta) in the lagoons of the north-western Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean Sea, Italy).

Abstract

Gracilaria vermiculophylla (Ohmi) Papenfuss, an invasive Rhodophyta recently recorded in the Po Delta lagoons (May 2008), was also found in the Venice lagoon in March 2009 and successively in Pialassa della Baiona (Emilia-Romagna Region) in May 2009. The species has colonized the eutrophic and confined areas of Venice by pleustophytic tangled populations (5-15 kg fwt m-2), replacing the allochthonous species whereas it is absent in the areas characterized by low nutrient availability and high water exchange. In contrast, in the Po Delta lagoons and in Pialassa della Baiona it is present everywhere, also with high water renewal, because of the eutrophication caused by the Po river and the industrial area of Ravenna. This study presents the autoecology and distribution of G. vermiculophylla in the above environments, according to their different eutrophication status, showing its relationship with physico-chemical parameters and nutrient concentrations in water column, pore-water, surface sediments and particulate matter collected by traps in a station of the Venice lagoon (Teneri) sampled monthly during one year. Furthermore, we give new information on its morphology and the high dimorphism between female and male gametophytes and tetrasporophytes.