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  Alien species play havoc with fish

Photo of article Researchers in Italy suggest that one of the main limits of spatially explicit forms of marine conservation, such as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), is that they cannot protect areas from major threats, including coastal modifications and changes in hydrodynamic and sedimentary regimes, as well as the spread of exotic species. Alien species, in particular the green algae Caulerpa racemosa, have invaded the Mediterranean Sea and other MPAs, significantly impacting the feeding habits of demersal species, and in turn potentially affecting fish populations. The study, presented in the journal PLoS ONE, was funded in part by the PERSEUS ('Policy-oriented marine environmental research in the southern European seas') project, which has received almost EUR 13 million under the Environment Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework (FP7).

Published: 19 July 2012

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