Assessing impacts of invasive phytoplankton: The Baltic Sea case
|A framework for determining the impacts of invasive species from 1980-2008 in the Baltic Sea identified twelve of fifty one phytoplankton species as non-native based on the European Alien Species Database (DAISIE), based on the study by Olenina et al. (2010). According to the bioinvasion impact assessment method, BPL (Biopolution Level Index) (Olenin et al. 2007) only the dinoflagellate species, Prorocentrum minimum was categorized to have a recognizable environmental effect (BPL 4).|
In locations of high invasion, P. Minimum can become the dominant phytoplankton outcompeting other species and in some cases inhibiting growth of other species (Heil et al. 2005), however this occurs only at high contributions to community structure and was only recorded once in the study duration. While only one species was identified as causing ecosystem level changes, the BPL framework exists for inclusion of additional species, and may prove useful for determining acceptable community threshold levels for future invasions in addition to tracking the movement of invasive species into the Baltic Sea and other areas. As such, it holds the potential to work as a tool for predictions of possible phytoplankton blooms applied to socio-economics like fisheries and tourism.
The dinoflagellate Prorocentrum minimum
|Implications to higher trophic levels in other regions caused by P. minimum blooms include anoxia in bottom waters (Anderson et al 2002), hepatoxic and diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (Grzebyk et al., 1997) and causing the death of shellfish in Japan and the Gulf of Mexico (Nakazima, 1965; Smith, 1975; Okaichi and Imatomi, 1979), thus demonstrating the potential to disrupt higher trophic levels. Economic effects to shellfish fisheries should be considered in the context of increasing P. Minimum blooms.
This work was supported by MEECE Marine Ecosystem Evolution in a Changing Environment, and the Lithuanian State Science and Studies Foundation project BINLIT.
Review by students from the MEECE Summer School:
Anne-Cecile Blaizot (LEMAR/CNRS/UBO/IUEM, France),
Carie Hoover (Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada) and
Christian Lindemann (DTU-Aqua, Denmark)
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