Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Occurrence and assemblage composition of intertidal non-native species may be influenced by shipping patterns and artificial structures.

Abstract

Habitat modification coupled with the spread of non-native species (NNS) are among the top threats to marine biodiversity globally. Species are known to be transported to new locations via international shipping and secondarily spread via regional vessels and artificial structures. Rapid Assessment Surveys (RAS) combining quantitative and semi-quantitative methods compared NNS richness and assemblage composition on intertidal natural rocky shores and artificial structures in harbours in different regions along the south coast of England. Quantitative data showed that artificial habitats supported higher richness than natural habitats, while semi-quantitative data found no difference in richness among habitat types. This result was attributed to additional species found in rock pools during searches of complex microhabitats in natural habitats. Assemblages on artificial structures differed among regions, with regions and harbours with greater numbers of vessels supporting greater richness. Results highlight the importance of shipping and artificial structures for NNS introduction and spread.