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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 431:1-10 (2011)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09170

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

Deniz Haydar*, Wim J. Wolff

Department of Marine Benthic Ecology and Evolution, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, PO Box 11103, 9700 CC Groningen, The Netherlands

ABSTRACT: Oyster transports are among the leading ­anthropogenic vectors of coastwise introduction of ­non-indigenous species. Using the oyster industry of the Netherlands as a model system, we investigated the relationship between vector strength (number of invasions) and vector tempo (magnitude and frequency of transport) in analyzing and predicting invasion patterns. We reviewed literature on oyster-associated species introductions, analyzed the scale of commercial oyster imports, and collected and identified epiflora from Pacific oyster shells. A total of 35 protist, algal, and invertebrate species have been introduced to the Netherlands with oysters, and we found 41 species of macroalgae on transported oysters. However, the number of introductions and quantity of oysters imported are not necessarily positively correlated, particularly in the past 20 yr, when oyster imports decreased but the rate of introductions increased. The discrepancy between vector tempo and strength can be explained by unreported imports and vector characteristics: a single oyster may harbor a large number of species which are introduced with their substrate, thus facilitating establishment. Further, the recently developed extensive Pacific oyster reefs in Dutch waters provide a suitable substrate, enabling establishment even after low propagule pressure introduction events. Assumptions that are made about crucial parameters need to be reconsidered: reported propagule pressure is not the same as actual propagule pressure; per-episode diversity of potential inoculants is not at a fixed level without episodic unpredictable spikes, and the recipient environment is not static. With increasing interest in predicting invasion patterns, caution must be taken in assuming that reduced propagule pressure will lead to reduced invasions.


KEY WORDS: Vector strength · Vector tempo · Epibiota · Oyster translocations · Propagule pressure · Crassostrea gigas


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Cite this article as: Haydar D, Wolff WJ (2011) Predicting invasion patterns in coastal ecosystems: relationship between vector strength and vector tempo. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 431:1-10. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09170

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