Spread of the non-native anemone Anemonia alicemartinae Haussermann & Forsterra, 2001 along the Humboldt-current large marine ecosystem: an ecological niche model approach
The geographical expansion of invasive species depends mainly on its dispersal potential, and the abiotic and biotic factors affecting it. Knowing the invasive dynamic of non-native species, as well as its behavior at different natural or anthropogenic scenarios, is fundamental for planning conservation management policies and control plans. The invasive sea anemone Anemonia alicemartinae in habits from the north (18 degrees S) to the south-central (36 degrees S) coast of Chile and its distribution range has expanded by approximately 1,928 km in the last 50 years. Previous works have proposed that human-mediated southward transport associated with regional-scale maritime activities could explain its rapid spread. To evaluate this hypothesis, we used ecological niche models (ENM) to evaluate the potential colonization of the southernmost area of South America. Additionally, we conducted a post hoc analysis to evaluate the relationship between the prediction of the ENM and human activity measured as the number of landings of ships in ports. The models were built based on presence records of A. alicemartinae, and oceanographic variables. Results showed that sea surface salinity and annual sea surface temperature (variance) are the best predictor variables to explain the distribution of A. alicemartinae. There was a positive and significant relationship between the geographical distribution of the sea anemone predicted by the ENM and the number of landings, as a proxy of anthropogenic activity. The most susceptible areas to invasion were those that showed the highest variability in both oceanographic predictors. These areas included the Biobio region, Chiloe's inland sea, Aysen, and Chacabuco regions, which together comprise two biogeographical provinces. These results sustain the proposed hypothesis and, overall, the results suggest that along with the characteristics of the life history of A. alicemartinae, oceanographic conditions and maritime transport as vector contribute to the southern range expansion of this invasive cryptogenic species in the Humboldt-current large marine ecosystem.
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|Spread of the non-native anemone Anemonia alicemartinae Haussermann & Forsterra, 2001 along the Humboldt-current large marine ecosystem: an ecological niche model approach
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|Spread of the non-native anemone Anemonia alicemartinae Häussermann & Försterra, 2001 along the Humboldt-current large marine ecosystem: An ecological niche model approach
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