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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS - Vol. 431 - Feature article
The cryptogenic red seaweed Pterothamnion plumula may have been introduced to various locations as a hitch-hiker on oyster shells.
Image: Wim van Egmond

Haydar D, Wolff WJ


Predicting invasion patterns in coastal ecosystems: relationship between vector strength and vector tempo


Oyster transports are among the leading anthropogenic vectors of introduction of non-indigenous species. Haydar and Wolff used the Dutch oyster industry as a model system to examine the relationship between vector strength (number of invasions) and vector tempo (magnitude and frequency of transport). They found a discrepancy between vector tempo and strength: when oyster imports decreased, the rate of associated introductions increased. This may be explained by unreported imports and by vector characteristics: a single oyster may harbor a diverse epiflora, which is introduced with its substrate. The recently developed Pacific oyster reefs provide habitat and further facilitate establishment of non-indigenous species even with low numbers of individuals per introduction and few introduction events (i.e. low propagule-pressure). Caution must be taken in assuming that reduced propagule pressure will lead to reduced invasions.


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