Invasive species threaten catastrophic abundance reductions in East
Antarctic coastal marine ecosystems
Marine invasive species (MIS) can cause irreparable change in new
environments, though only 1 in 10 invasive species cause negative
impacts to recipient ecosystems. Knowledge of which invasive species
could have negative impacts helps ensure that limited resources
available for MIS monitoring and management are deployed most
effectively. This is particularly true in areas that are difficult to
access, such as the Southern Ocean. We used an ensemble ecosystem model
to explore the impact of potential future invasions by seven groups of
marine invasive species on an Antarctic coastal marine food web.
Although most simulations showed native species abundances only changed
within 10% of the initial abundance, the establishment of a MIS could
plausibly cause significant abundance declines to all native species.
This analysis helps us to better understand the potential range of
impacts on native species and aid the development of strategies to help
prevent or manage their introduction.