Pacific Science Volume 56, Number 2, 2002

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Pacific Science is a quarterly publication devoted to the biological and physical sciences of the Pacific Region.

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    Do Locals Rule? Interactions between Native Intertidal Animals and a Caribbean Barnacle in Hawai'i
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2002-04) Zabin, Chela ; Hadfield, Michael G.
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    Species Introductions and Potential for Marine Pest Invasions into Tropical Marine Communities, with Special Reference to the Indo-Pacific
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2002-04) Hutchings, P.A. ; Hilliard, R.W. ; Coles, S.L.
    Introductions of marine species by hull fouling or ballast water have occurred extensively in temperate areas, often with substantial deleterious impacts. However, current information suggests that marine introductions potentially able to achieve pest species status have been fewer in tropical regions. A 1997 risk assessment examining introductions to 12 tropical ports in Queensland (Australia) concluded that far fewer marine species appeared to have been introduced, even at major bulk export ports where the number of ship visits and volume of discharged ballast water are more than at most of Australia's cooler water ports. Results from recent surveys looking for introduced species in tropical ports across northern Australia are beginning to support this conclusion, although the lack of historic baseline surveys and the poor taxonomic status of many tropical groups are preventing a precise picture. The 1997 report also concluded that, apart from pathogens and parasites of warm-water species, the potential for marine pest invasions in Queensland tropical ports appeared to be low, and not only because much of the discharged ballast water originates from temperate ports in North Asia. In contrast, recent surveys of harbors in Hawai'i have found over 110 introduced species (including 23 cryptogenic species), the majority in the estuarine embayments of Pearl Harbor and O'ahu's commercial harbors. We suggest that the biogeographically isolated and less diverse marine communities of Hawaiian ports have been more susceptible to introductions than those of tropical Australia for several reasons, including the closeness of Australia to the central Indo-Pacific "triangle" of megadiversity (Indonesia-Philippines- Papua New Guinea) and consequent high biodiversity and low endemicity, hence offering fewer niches for nonindigenous species to become established. The isolated central Pacific position of Hawai'i and its long history of receiving worldwide commercial and naval shipping (including more heavily fouled vessels than contemporary merchant ships) is another key factor, although the estuarine warm-water ports of Townsville, Brisbane, and Darwin also provided anchorages for military units during World War n. Hull fouling remains an important vector, as it is the most likely cause of the recent transfer of the highly invasive Caribbean black-striped mussel (Mytilopsis sallei) to enclosed (lock-gate) marinas in Darwin by international cruising yachts arriving via the Panama Canal. The cost of eliminating this pest (>US$1.6 million) underscores the importance of managing not just commercial shipping but also pleasure craft, fishing boats, and naval ships as vectors of exotic species to ports, harbors, and marinas in coral reef areas.
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    Distribution and Biodiversity of Australian Tropical Marine Bioinvasions
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2002-04) Hewitt, Chad L.
    Marine invasions have been identified in virtually all regions of the world, yet relatively few introductions have been detected in the Tropics. This has been attributed at least in part to an increase in intrinsic native community resistance at lower latitudes resulting from strongly interacting food webs in high(er) diversity systems. However, recent evidence from surveys in Australia and elsewhere indicate that tropical systems are also susceptible to invasions, though detection ability may be constrained by taxonomic limitations. Preliminary analyses of data from surveys designed to detect introduced species do not support a pattern of decreased invasion success in higher diversity systems but do indicate a strong latitudinal gradient at the mesoscale of Australia. This cannot be attributed to disparities in search effort (controlled for by consistency in survey effort) or taxonomic knowledge. The original hypothesis of a decreased relative susceptibility of tropical versus temperate biota to invasions may remain viable, but be scale dependent. Additional confounding factors may include differing vector strengths and availability of source bioregions.
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    Hawaiian Marine Bioinvasions: A Preliminary Assessment
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2002-04) Eldredge, L.G. ; Carlton, J.T.
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    Nonindigenous Species Introductions on Coral Reefs: A Need for Information
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2002-04) Coles, S.L. ; Eldgredge, L.G.
    Nonindigenous species invasions have caused disruptions of native communities and detrimental economic impacts to fisheries in many temperate marine areas. However, comparatively little information exists for tropical regions, and even less is known about occurrences and impacts of nonindigenous species on coral reefs. Studies in the Tropics to date have mostly been limited to surveys in harbors and ports where corals and reef organisms are usually missing or rare and environmental conditions are usually quite different from those found on coral reefs. The few studies available for coral reefs suggest that nonindigenous species are thus far a relatively minor component of the total biota, but some species, especially introduced red algae, can be invasive and dominate reef areas. With limited information available, there is a need for studies of the occurrence and impacts of nonindigenous species that are focused on coral reef environments. This review summarizes the information for nonindigenous species from harbors, embayments, and coral reef surveys in the tropical Pacific and outlines procedures for studies to detect species introductions.
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