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Invasive Species

This category contains 23 posts
A boat pulled out f the water and standing on land exposing the propellers and hull which are covered in various fouling organisms.

Too Slick to Stick

Have you ever walked down a dock to look at the boats? How about under the boat? The sides? Chances are you’ve probably seen a few things growing on the boat wherever it is submerged underwater such as barnacles or algae. This is known as biofouling, the unwanted accumulation of plants and animals on a […]

Increasing resilience, one cannibal at a time

When a species invades a new habitat they must learn to cope with previously unknown environmental stressors. Read on for this species strange adaptation to survive the winter. Brandy BiggarI am a 2nd year Master’s student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. I am researching the highly invasive species the European green crab, and the […]

Eating invasive species and the future of sustainable fisheries

Invasive species are a global phenomenon, and have been since modern human society became a global phenomenon. Many of them were brought purposefully as a food source to uncertain new destinations. But can we (and should we) eat our way out of the problem we ate our way into?

Could a novel disease help curb the lionfish invasion?

Since the first sighting in the 1980s, lionfish have rapidly invaded the waters of the Western Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. With no natural predators, diseases, or parasites to control the growing population, the adaptable fish has easily expanded its range. However, a newly reported disease may finally be knocking down lionfish […]

Hidden diversity in ships’ ballast tanks

Did you know that organisms can live in the ballast tanks of cargo ships? Ballast tanks are used by ships to maintain stability as they transverse across ocean basins. Unfortunately, ballast water is a major culprit of the introduction of invasive species worldwide. Read on to learn more about a recent study that uses genetic […]

Robofish To The Rescue!

When mosquitofish were introduced all over the world to control mosquito populations nobody thought they would have such a negative impact on the native ecosystem. Now, in an attempt to control their populations researches are using robotic predators. Brandy BiggarI am a 2nd year Master’s student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. I am researching […]

Navigating historical passages of marine invasive species

Invasive species are a persistent threat to marine ecosystems. In this post, authors explore the historical context of marine invasive species and point toward the need for the public to be engaged in preventing the spread of invasive species. Katherine BarrettKate is a 4th year PhD candidate in the Biological Sciences Department at the University […]

Agricultural Stewardship Could Prevent Invasive Species Takeover Downstream

  Phragmites australis, or Common Reed, is a marine grass likely introduced to North America from Eurasia in the late 1800s through the garden trade. It has since become one of the most aggressive invaders in history, replacing native grasses in wetlands and disrupting native ecosystem function. Wetlands are interesting study systems for invasive plants. […]

Invasive seagrass changes fish community in the US Virgin Islands

Seagrass meadows provide food and habitat for a variety of fish species. Juvenile fish are particularly dependent on the meadows, for the shelter they provide from predators. In the Caribbean, several native seagrasses might be found in the same shallow estuary or coastline, forming a patchwork of meadows that support a variety of different fish […]

Fantastic Invaders and Where to Find Them (Galapagos Edition)

Alien species are a commonly known and growing global concern. Increasingly transported to new locations and often following significant and increasingly widespread environmental degradation in their new homes, it seems more and more aliens are making the transition from visitor to invasive species. Some invaders, usually predators, can become particularly competitive and contribute directly or […]

Aliens in the kelp forests – community ecology and Miso soup

In the plant world, competition between species is almost always over space. Space dictates how much sunlight, nutrients, and potential mates you have access to. In community ecology, it’s thought that ecosystems only have so much space to offer different species, with some ecosystems containing more space than others. Most systems are also thought to be saturated so that, […]

Builders or Opportunistic Squatters? Invasive Species Drives Ecosystem Change on Georges Bank

See article here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10530-017-1517-y Tunicates are underappreciated seafloor animals. Living sedentary lives and resembling some kind of marine slime, they don’t usually make it into headlines or flashy ocean documentaries. They are, however, important components of marine ecosystems (super cute ones too, like these bright blue ones), building bottom habitats and providing food for a […]

Lionfish slime helps ward off diseases

We know of many things that protect animals against disease – immune systems and gut bacteria are just the two most common examples. It turns out fish have antimicrobial properties that come from bacteria that live in the slime that covers their bodies, and it just might make lionfish specifically more resistant to disease. Erin […]

With A Little Help From My Friend: Unexpected benefits of invasive species?

Invasive species are widely talked about as unequivocally bad influences on ecosystems, but oftentimes their interactions are more complex. Click here to read more about an unexpected interplay between two mussel species in the intertidal zone! Andrea SchlunkI am a former PhD student from the University of Rhode Island, having discovered my love of teaching […]

Seagrass Invasion! Tunicates colonizing seagrass beds impact plant and animal community

Seagrass habitats worldwide are in decline due to a number of factors. What happens when an invasive species comes on the scene to add to the stressors affecting seagrasses? Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the University of Rhode Island (M.S.). I now work in southwest Florida, contributing […]

When Aliens Invade: Disturbed Food Webs in the Mediterranean

Invasive species can wreak havoc on an ecosystem. Learn about the fishy invasion currently underway in the Mediterranean Sea and what impacts these invaders may be having on the region. Dina NavonI am a doctoral candidate in the Organismic and Evolutionary Biology program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I’m interested in how an individual’s […]

Wave the Yellow Flag

While the blue flag iris is native to United States wetlands, the yellow variety is invasive and just starting to pop up on the radar of concern for land managers. This study found that seed dispersal was the main reproduction tactic, which was unique since asexual reproduction from rhizome pieces breaking off is the common […]

Aliens attack: Predicting the spread of marine invasive species

Species invasions have become serious issues in the marine environment, mostly as a result of increased ship traffic. Once a new species invades an area, it is next to impossible to draw it out. What if there was a way to predict the arrival of alien species to new locations in the ocean? Would this […]

Plant Parents: Divide, Seed, and Conquer

Phragmites is the ultimate parent in terms of reproductive success, allowing it to increase in area by 25% since 1971 in the Rhode River subestuary. While phragmites can spread asexually through rhizome clones, seed dispersion requiring two parents was the most successful tactic found in this study. Kari St.LaurentI received a Ph.D. in oceanography in […]

Death by evolution: how a hapless adaptation aided in the untimely demise of a Lake Victorian fish

Scientists have demonstrated that a human-induced extinction of a tropical lake fish was unwittingly assisted by a millions year old evolutionary adaptation. Abrahim El GamalAbrahim is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego where he studies marine chemical biology.

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