Invasive Species Essay

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The age of the invasives: The anthropogenic effects leading to the increased spread of tropical marine invasive species in 2050 and beyond

All discussions regarding the phenomenon of invasive species will inherently result in the consensus that they are an unwanted or an even evil entity. Ever since the age of exploration humans have been primary dispersers of these so called “exotic” species (Mooney and Cleland 2001). Famous examples include the release of cane toads in Australia (Urban et al., 2008); the rainbow trout (Fausch 2008) and the Japanese Kudzu vine in the southern U.S. (Blaustein 2001) and zebra mussels in the great lakes of Canada (Nalepa and Schloesser 1992). However, documented marine invasions compared with
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Our increased appetite for coastal area living, a preference that will likely develop as global temperatures increase, coupled with a rise in seaborne trade and transport, will all contribute to the shaping of future tropical marine ecosystems. Between the years of 1980 and 2000 seaborne trade was shown to increase by 37%, and has continued steadily ever since (Peters 2001). The global mean of ocean transportation is widely acknowledged as a dominant vector regarding invasive species introduction (Carlton 1985), by means of the translocation of larvae and marine microorganisms. One investigation conservatively reported ballast water containing 8 different animal phyla and 5 protist phyla consisting of a total of 81 species (Chu et al., 1997). It is also suggested that at any one moment in time, 10,000 species are transported through ballast water globally (Carlton 1999). An example of a successful invasive transfer via ballast water is the invasion of the comb jelly, Mnemiopsis leidyi, which invaded the Caspian Sea in 1982 (Ivanov et al., 2000). Another ballast water mediated species in recent times is the Pacific brittle star species Ophiactis savignyi, which has now successfully integrated into the tropical West Atlantic (Roy and Sponer 2002). Various management strategies have been manufactured to prevent these ballast tank related problems,…show more content…
This fact may be relevant for the future due to the variable sea temperatures predicted for the future, and when passing between tropical and temperate region boundaries. There are further issues linked with elevated boat transport, in particular marine infrastructures, such as sea walls and jetties, built to facilitate the sea trade and tourism industry, have been found to be highly susceptible to invasive species establishment (Bulleri and Airoldi 2005; Glasby et al.,

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