Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Drought periods driving bioinvasion on hard substrates at a tropical estuary, Eastern Brazil.

Abstract

During drier periods estuarine salinization can stimulate the colonization of marine organisms and further bioinvasion, therefore, may cause future ecological change. In this sense, we applied the Rapid Assessment Surveys (RAS) on natural and artificial hard substrates during the most intense drought period (between 2014 and 2016) since 1950, in a tropical estuary in Eastern Brazil. Through the estuary salinization the ascidian Didemnum psammatodes overgrow the dominant native taxa; this dominance taxa shift provided suitable habitat favorable for invasion of Ophiothela mirabilis across the estuary. Even the invasion starts on artificial substrates, the higher resilience of natural substrates were not enough to enable the establishment of invasive species. This baseline is the first evidence of bioinvasion influenced by climate change drought periods in tropical estuaries in South America, which is a great advance for the development of management strategies to mitigate this and future climate change scenarios.