Finnish Environment Institute | Suomen ympäristökeskus | Finlands miljöcentral

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Distribution, ecology and impacts of alien species in the Baltic Sea

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Basic project information

Alien invasive species originate from other ecosystems, and are intentionally or unintentionally transferred to new environments by human actions. Ships transport efficiently alien species enabling species to overcome natural dispersal barriers. The increase in ship size and drive speed have increased the number of successful invasions during the past decades. Alien invasive species have been identified as one of the major threats to marine ecosystems causing biodiversity loss and adverse environmental, economic and social impacts. The eradication of new species is in practice impossible after invasion and establishment.

Mnemiopsis leidyi adult. 
Picture: Maiju Lehtiniemi

Objectives

In this project we follow the spread and distribution of already established alien species as well as new species. In addition, we study the effects of certain key species on the Baltic ecosystem. These include studies on the predatory cladoceran Cercopagis pengoi; on its physiological adaptation, on its role in the food web and on the importance of resting egg bank in the spreading success of the species. We also study the comb jelly species composition and the impacts of these gelatinous zooplankters in the Baltic Sea.

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More information

Senior Research Scientist Maiju Lehtiniemi, Marine Research Centre/Finnish Environment Institute, firstname.surname@ymparisto.fi

Published 2013-04-19 at 13:50, updated 2015-06-22 at 12:31