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The Baltic: a sea of invaders
Leppäkoski, E.; Gollasch, S.; Gruszka, P.; Ojaveer, H.; Olenin, S.; Panov, V. (2002). The Baltic: a sea of invaders. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 59(7): 1175-1188
In: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences = Journal canadien des sciences halieutiques et aquatiques. National Research Council Canada: Ottawa. ISSN 0706-652X, more
Peer reviewed article

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Keywords
    Introduced species; Balanus improvisus Darwin, 1854 [WoRMS]; Cercopagis (Cercopagis) pengoi (Ostroumov, 1891) [WoRMS]; Cordylophora caspia (Pallas, 1771) [WoRMS]; Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas, 1771) [WoRMS]; ANE, Baltic [gazetteer]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Leppäkoski, E.
  • Gollasch, S.
  • Gruszka, P.

Abstract
    There are about 100 nonindigenous species recorded in the Baltic Sea. Invasive species have resulted in major changes in nearshore ecosystems, especially in coastal lagoons and inlets that can be identified as "centres of xenodiversity". Fewer than 70 of these species have established reproducing populations. Dominant invasion vectors include unintentional introductions via ballast water, tank sediments, and hull fouling, aquaculture, and the construction of canals that have facilitated active or passive natural dispersal. Of the approximately 60 unintentionally introduced species with a known invasion history, 38 are transoceanic (including 19 Atlantic species of American origin) and 18 of Ponto-Caspian origin. Species that have caused economic damage to fisheries, shipping, and industry include the hydrozoan Cordylophora caspia, the barnacle Balanus improvisus, the cladoceran Cercopagis pengoi, and the bivalve Dreissena polymorpha. The Baltic Sea has served as a secondary source of nonindigenous species to the North American Great Lakes. Further study is warranted to quantify large-scale ecosystem changes in the Baltic associated with establishment and population growth of nonindigenous species and to prevent future invasions.

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