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Rapid invasion of Crassostrea gigas into the German Wadden Sea dominated by larval supply
Brandt, G.; Wehrmann, A.; Wirtz, K.W. (2008). Rapid invasion of Crassostrea gigas into the German Wadden Sea dominated by larval supply. J. Sea Res. 59(4): 279-296
In: Journal of Sea Research. Elsevier/Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Amsterdam; Den Burg. ISSN 1385-1101, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Data processing; Fisheries; Habitat; Life cycle; Models; Mortality; Population dynamics; Recruitment; Crassostrea gigas (Thunberg, 1793) [WoRMS]; ANE, Germany, Schleswig-Holstein, North Frisian I. [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Brandt, G.
  • Wehrmann, A.
  • Wirtz, K.W.

    Invasions of non-indigenous species into coastal habitats have been a frequent phenomenon in the last decades, sometimes with significant impact on the receiving ecosystem. However, the understanding of the entire process and especially the relative importance of larval supply and local recruitment remains unclear. In this study, we simulate the invasion of a benthic invertebrate into a previously uncolonised habitat over several years and validate the results with field data. Therefore, we present field data from a monitoring programme revealing the rapid invasion of the oyster Crassostrea gigas into the East Frisian Wadden Sea, North Sea, between 2003 and 2005. The applied model combines a simple, spatially-explicit population dynamics model for the adult stage with a particle tracking model for the larval stage of the life cycle. Simulation results are able to reproduce the large-scale pattern of the field data and indicate a domination of larval supply on the population dynamics in the early stage of the invasion. Though monitoring and simulations suggest a single larval source outside the study area in the west, the population dynamics in the eastern part is only explainable with an additional source within the study area attributed to an unintentional input of juveniles by mussel fishery. High sensitivities to uncertain parameters result in distinct deviations between monitoring and simulations at particular sites. Especially the impact of site-specific variations of the post-settlement mortality underlines the variability of local recruitment conditions and indicates the need for spatially resolved information for exact predictions.

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