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Non-native animals in the Baltic Sea: alteration of benthic habitats in coastal inlets and lagoons
Olenin, S.; Leppäkoski, E. (1999). Non-native animals in the Baltic Sea: alteration of benthic habitats in coastal inlets and lagoons. Hydrobiologia 393: 233-243
In: Hydrobiologia. Springer: The Hague; . ISSN 0018-8158, more
Peer reviewed article

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Keywords
    Biodiversity; Coastal zone; Introduced species; Zoobenthos; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Olenin, S., more
  • Leppäkoski, E.

Abstract
    Semi-enclosed coastal inlets are particularly interesting areas for studies on non-native species since they showsteep gradients in physical environment, biological communities, pollution and intensity of human activities. Dueto the ecotone effect their biota is constituted of a mixture of marine, brackish and freshwater indigenous andnon-indigenous species. In comparison with offshore areas the coastal inlets seem to be better invadible, and theeffects of introductions are more evident here. This paper presents results of a comparative study on non-nativebenthic species in the semi-enclosed water bodies of the Southern (Curonian and Vistula lagoons) and NorthernBaltic (inner Archipelago Sea and Northern Quark, Gulf of Bothnia), which differ by their origin and presentenvironment, scope of anthropogenic impact and level of euthrophication. These areas presently host at least 18non-native benthic invertebrate species. The ecological role of these species is evaluated in terms of: (a) theirrelative abundance and biomass in bottom communities; (b) their ‘feeding/mobility’ status and their ability to alterthe physical/chemical environment of the ecosystems they invaded; (c) vacancy/occupancy of the niches beforethese species introduced. The comparative analysis shows that the non-native species have significantly alteredecosystems of the SE Baltic coastal lagoons, while their role in the northern coastal waters still is much lessimportant. The invadibility of different types of the Baltic coastal lagoons and inlets is discussed on the basis ofthe present study.

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