First report of Laurencia chondrioides (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta) and its potential to be an invasive in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
The Mediterranean coast of Israel is well known as a hotspot of invasive marine species, mostly from the Indian and Pacific oceans. Here, we report the first occurrence of the red seaweed Laurencia chondrioides in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Large quantities of this species were observed in the algal drift on the sandy shores as well as on rocky surfaces of the upper and middle infralittoral zone. This highly abundant invasive species, present along the northern shore of Israel, represents a serious threat to the local marine flora. Some aspects of its ecology and invasive behavior in this region are also discussed.