Exotic seaweed in the Chilean coast: spatial and temporal patterns in the invasion process.
In this paper we propose a checklist of 14 species of exotic seaweeds on the Chilean coast, and three species which, being native to the Chilean coast, have been introduced in areas outside their natural range. This list was compiled from previously published checklist, debugged the misidentified records, and incorporating new ones. The distribution of exotic seaweeds is not homogeneous along the coast, but it is concentrated in areas near ports and aquaculture centers. Most species display a fairly bounded distribution, and only four tend to invade (i.e., increase its range of distribution over time). However, considering that most introductions are recent (the last 60 years) and the positive relationship between amplitude of the distribution range and residence time of species on the Chilean coast, we suggest that some of these species may be in an expansion phase, which would explain its restricted distribution. This work not only updates the information related to exotic seaweed on the Chilean coast, but also allows us to understand the invasion process, through the analysis of the patterns described in these systems.