Invasive species

Marine species are introduced to new environments by several means including transport in ships ballast water, biofouling on ships hulls, accidental introductions through aquaculture and by attachment to floating debris in the ocean. Many organisms will find their new environment hostile and will die off but some will thrive, often due to a lack of natural predators in the new environment, and spread to form new populations elsewhere. These are called invasive alien species.

Invasive alien species can have a devastating effect on local ecosystems, adversely affecting biological diversity, ecosystem functioning, and even human health. The rate of aquatic invasions has increased in recent decades and is now considered as one of the key causes of biodiversity changes worldwide.

PML scientists are studying the effects of invasive species on local ecosystems and developing modelling tools to assess the likelihood of success of future invasions and estimate the potential impact on ecosystem structure and biodiversity.

Untreated ballast water is one of the major sources on introduced species. From September 2017 ships will be required to manage their ballast water to remove, render harmless or avoid the uptake or discharge of aquatic organisms as the International Maritime Organization's Ballast Water Convention comes into force.

Through our trading subsidiary PML Applications Ltd we are enabling shipping companies to choose, operate and test ballast water management systems to minimise introductions of non-native species and ensure compliance with regulations. PML Applications Ltd also offer biofouling management services including the development and testing of antifouling technologies to reduce species introductions.

Making a difference

Our research will inform future policy and management of invasive species and develop solutions to minimise the transport of aquatic species thus helping to secure healthy and productive seas and oceans.

Further information

Projects

Vectors of Change in Oceans and Seas Marine Life, Impact on Economic Sectors (VECTORS)
Completed

Vectors of Change in Oceans and Seas Marine Life, Impact on Economic Sectors (VECTORS)

Contact: Professor Melanie Austen

VECTORS improved our understanding of how environmental and man-made factors are impacting marine ecosystems now and in the future. Through...

REVIVAL

Rehabilitation of Vibrio-infested waters of Lake Vembanad, funded under the India-UK Water Quality programme (REVIVAL)

Contact: Dr Shubha Sathyendranath

Lake Vembanad is the largest body of water in Kerala, India, stretching almost 100km in length and spanning an area of over 2000km2. Its shores are...

You may be interested in...

News

World ocean systems undermined by climate change by 2100

Scientists warn against the high risk of degradation of marine ecosystems and human hardships.

News

Arctic study shows key marine food web species at risk from increasing CO2

A research expedition to the Arctic, as part of the Catlin Arctic Survey involving PML's Dr Helen Findlay, has revealed that tiny crustaceans, known as copepods, that live just beneath the ocean surface are likely to battle for survival if ocean acidity continues to rise. 

News

Microplastics found in all sea turtle species

Tests on more than 100 sea turtles – spanning three oceans and all seven species – have revealed microplastics in the guts of every single turtle.

|< <  1 2 3   > >|

Related recent publications

  1. Saha, M; Weinberger, F. 2019 Microbial “gardening” by a seaweed holobiont: Surface metabolites attract protective and deter pathogenic epibacterial settlement. Journal of Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.13193
    View publication

  2. Groeneveld, RA; Bartelings, H; Borger, T; Bosello, F; Buisman, E; Delpiazzo, E; Eboli, F; Fernandes, JA; Hamnon, KG; Hattam, C; Loureiro, M; Nunes, PALD; Piwowarczyk, J; Schasfoort, FE; Simons, SL; Walker, AN. 2018 Economic impacts of marine ecological change: Review and recent contributions of the VECTORS project on European marine waters. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 201. 152-163. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2016.04.002
    View publication

  3. Trindade de Castro, MC; Fileman, TW; Hall-Spencer, JM. 2017 Invasive species in the Northeastern and Southwestern Atlantic Ocean: A review. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 116 (1-2). 41-47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.12.048
    View publication

  4. Castro, MCT; Hall-Spencer, JM; Poggian, CF; Fileman, TW. 2018 Ten years of Brazilian ballast water management. Journal of Sea Research, 133. 36-42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2017.02.003
    View publication

  5. Guy-Haim, T; Lyons, D; Kotta, J; Ojaveer, H; Queiros, AM; Chatzinikolaou, E; Arvanitidis, C; Como, S; Magni, P; Blight, AJ; Orav-Kotta, H; Somerfield, PJ. 2018 Diverse effects of invasive ecosystem engineers on marine biodiversity and ecosystem functions – a global review and meta-analysis. Global Change Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14007
    View publication

View more publications