Information on invasive species in Antarctica | Polarjournal

The list of possible invasive species published by the research group led by Dr Kevin Hughes includes different groups of animals and plants. Here you can find a list and the map from the study . The text is a translation of the abstract of the work and provides a summary of the research work.
A link to the study itself can be found at the end of the article. It was published under Creative Commons 4.0 (CC BY 4.0).

The map shows the location of the research stations (permanently and seasonally occupied) and the landing sites of tourists along the Antarctic Peninsula. These places have been identified by the researchers as the most likely entry points of immigrant species within the next 10 years. (C) Hughes et al. (2020) Glob Change Biol. 1-15

The Antarctic Peninsula (APR) region, which includes the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands and the South Orkney Islands, is by far the most visited part of the Antarctic continent. The risk of the introduction of invasive, non-native species into the APR is likely to increase with predicted increases in the intensity, diversity and distribution of human activities. Parties that are signatories to the Antarctic Treaty are calling for regional assessments of the risk of the introduction of non-native species. In response, taxonoms and Antarctic experts conducted a horizon search using expert opinions and consensus approaches to identify the species that are likely to pose the highest risk to biodiversity and ecosystems within the APR over the next 10 years. 103 species that are not currently present in the APR have been classified as relevant for verification, with 13 species at high risk of invading the APR. Marine invertebrates dominated the list of species at the highest risk, including flowering plants and invertebrates. However, it was assumed that vertebrate species were unlikely to establish themselves in the APR within the 10-year period. We recommend (a) the further development and application of biosecurity measures by all stakeholders involved in the APR, including the monitoring of species identified in this horizon scan exercise, and (b) the application of this methodology in all other areas of Antarctica. Without the application of appropriate biosecurity measures, the rates of introduction and invasion within the APR are likely to increase, with negative consequences for the biodiversity of the entire continent, as introduced species establish and spread due to climate change and increasing human activity.

The list of 13 species identified as the most likely invasive species within the next 10 years. (C) Hughes et al. (2020) Glob Change Biol, 1-15

Source: Hughes et al. (2020) Global Change Biology 1-15,

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
error: Content is protected !!
Share This