ROLE OF SICILY AND CIRCUM-SICILIAN ISLANDS AS RECIPIENT AND DONOR AREA FOR ALIEN MARINE MACROPHYTES IN THE CENTRAL MEDITERRANEAN SEA

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The spread of alien species is an ongoing phenomenon which is widely recognized as a major threat to biodiversity at all levels. The particularly high rate of alien introductions to the Mediterranean Sea has been mainly fuelled by the opening of the Suez Canal, by shipping, aquaculture and by a rising trend in seawater temperature. As far as marine macrophytes are concerned, a total of 134 species have been listed as possible aliens in the Mediterranean Sea. Among the possible pathways of introduction, shipping is considered the dominant vector of unintentional species introduction in coastal marine systems worldwide. Traversing the Strait of Sicily, the chief passageway from south to north and from east to west, is considered crucial for extending the range from west to east or vice versa of alien species introduced into the Mediterranean Sea. Sicily and the circum-Sicilian Islands, as a consequence of their strategic position at the crossroads between the western and eastern Mediterranean and by virtue of the intense maritime traffic volumes skirting the region, are particularly congenial for and vulnerable to biological marine invasions. this area, due to its crucial position within the Mediterranean Sea, could be an important transboundary station for monitoring the entry and spread of marine alien species.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbstract Book
Pages103-103
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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