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Desiccation tolerance of the introduced marine green alga Codium fragile ssp. tomentosoides - clues for likely transport vectors?
Schaffelke, B.; Deane, D. (2005). Desiccation tolerance of the introduced marine green alga Codium fragile ssp. tomentosoides - clues for likely transport vectors? Biological Invasions 7: 557-565
In: Biological Invasions. Springer: Berlin. ISSN 1387-3547, more
Peer reviewed article

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Keywords
    Desiccation; Survival; Translocation; Codium fragile (Suringar) Hariot, 1889 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Shipboard transport

Authors  Top 
  • Schaffelke, B.
  • Deane, D.

Abstract
    The invasive marine green macroalga Codium fragile ssp. tomentosoides is now considered to be an introduced marine pest along the northwest Atlantic and southern Australian coasts. International or domestic translocation of C. fragile ssp. tomentosoides is usually attributed to the fouling of ship hulls or shellfish, particularly oysters. A likely domestic vector is shipboard transport, involving the translocation of whole thalli or fragments entangled in fishing nets, ropes, etc. that are then released in a previously unaffected area. Here we investigated the survival of C. fragile ssp. tomentosoides under emersed conditions, simulating shipboard transport. C. fragile ssp. tomentosoides was able to survive periods of emersion of up to 90 days in high relative air humidity. Net photosynthesis remained positive at about 50% of the rates of submersed control thalli. After 2 days of emersion and 4 days of rehydration under submersed conditions thalli recover to their initial net photosynthesis rates. Hence, C. fragile ssp. tomentosoides is likely to survive long shipboard journeys entrapped in fishing nets, anchor wells or other protected, high-humidity areas of a vessel. Furthermore, C. fragile ssp. tomentosoides may survive emersion on an exposed deck during short trips, especially in cooler conditions such as at night. The incursion sites of C. fragile ssp. tomentosoides in Australia are generally in modified environments, often associated with shipping-related infrastructure such as wharves, jetties, rip rap, and moorings.

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