MEPS 149:295-297 (1997)  -  doi:10.3354/meps149295

Ballast water as a vector for tintinnid transport

Pierce RW, Carlton JT, Carlton DA, Geller JB

Ballast tanks of cargo ships arriving in Coos Bay, Oregon, USA, from various Japanese ports were sampled from October 1987 to January 1991. A total of 33 tintinnid species from 15 genera were identified from ballast water samples. Live tintinnids were observed on occasion. Many of the species that were observed in these ballast water samples have also been found in the nearby Strait of Juan de Fuca, but others have never been reported in the eastern Pacific. The presence of tintinnids in ballast water obfuscates any conclusions about the natural distributions of these species. This study suggests that ballast water has been a vector for tintinnid transport for many years, and that it may no longer be possible to determine the native distributions for many tintinnid species.


Tintinnid · Ciliate · Exotic organisms · Ballast water · Biogeography


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