Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Invasive seaweeds in the Iberian Peninsula: a contribution for food supply.

Abstract

The introduction of exotic organisms in marine ecosystems can lead to economic and ecological losses. Globally, seaweeds represent a significant part of these non-indigenous species (NIS), with 407 introduced algal species. Furthermore, the presence of NIS seaweeds has been reported as a major concern worldwide since the patterns of their potential invasion mechanisms and vectors are not yet fully understood. Currently, in the Iberian Peninsula, around 50 NIS seaweeds have been recorded. Some of these are also considered invasive due to their overgrowth characteristic and competition with other species. However, invasive seaweeds are suitable for industrial applications due to their high feedstock. Hence, seaweeds' historical use in daily food diet, allied to research findings, showed that macroalgae are a source of nutrients and bioactive compounds with nutraceutical properties. The main goal of this review is to evaluate the records of NIS seaweeds in the Iberian Peninsula and critically analyze the potential of invasive seaweeds application in the food industry.