Non-indigenous marine macroalgae in native communities: a case study in the British Isles

Frederic Mineur, Mark Johnson, Christine Maggs

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10 Citations (Scopus)


It has traditionally been considered that areas with high natural species richness are likely to be more resistant to non-indigenous species than those with lower numbers of species. However, this theory has been the subject of a debate over the last decade, since some studies have shown the opposite trend. In the present study, a macroalgal survey was carried out at 24 localities in Northern Ireland and southern England, using a quadrat approach in the lower littoral. The two opposing hypotheses were tested (negative versus positive relationship between native and non-indigenous species richness) in this marine environment. The effect of the presence of 'impacts', potential sources of disturbance and species introduction (e.g. marina, harbour or aquaculture), was also tested. A positive relationship was found between the number of non-indigenous species and the native species richness at the three different scales tested (quadrats, sites and localities). At no scale did a richer native assemblage appear to restrict the establishment of introduced species. The analyses revealed greater species richness and different community composition, as well as more non-indigenous species, in southern England relative to Northern Ireland. The presence of the considered impacts had an effect on the community composition and species richness in southern England but not in Northern Ireland. Such impacts had no effect on the non-indigenous species richness in either area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-698
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science


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