Alien species and propagules in the Antarctic : movements through space and time

Lee, Jennifer Elizabeth (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2009-03)

Thesis (PhD (Botany and Zoology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Although the impacts of biological invasions are widely appreciated, a bias exists in research effort to post‐dispersal processes because of the difficulties of measuring propagule pressure and the detecting of newly established species. Here the Antarctic is used as a model system in which to quantify the initial dispersal of alien species and investigate the factors that contribute to the establishment and range dynamics of alien species once they have arrived in the region. Human movements are known to transport alien species into the Antarctic, some of which have successfully established and had wide ranging consequences in recipient ecosystems. Considering terrestrial flora, this research found that over 700 seeds from 99 taxa, including some species known to be invasive, are transported into the Antarctic each year in association with South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP) passenger luggage and cargo. The first ever assessment of propagule drop‐off indicated that 30‐50% of these propagules will enter the recipient environment. Further results suggested that the construction of the British Antarctic Survey Halley VI station will facilitate the transport of over 5000 seeds from 34 taxa into the region, making this a significant pathway for introductions. Propagule pressure due to SANAP logistics is also considerable for marine species. Fouling assemblages on the external hull surfaces of the SANAP resupply vessel, the SA Agulhas, form only once the vessel’s anti‐fouling paint has been damaged by travel through sea ice and are characterised by low diversity. Ice scour prevents fouling assemblages from being transported to the Antarctic continent, but assemblages remain largely intact when travelling to sub‐Antarctic Islands. In the sea‐chests of the vessel populations of a known invasive, Mytilus galloprovincialis, were found with some individuals having survived transportation to the Antarctic region on multiple occasions. Once species have overcome initial dispersal barriers, they face further ecological and physiological challenges in order to establish in the recipient region. The parasitoid wasp Aphidius matricariae was first recorded on Marion Island in 2001. Surveys around the island show that adult abundance and the frequency of aphid parasitism are highest adjacent to a common anchor point of the SA Agulhas and decline away from this region. Genetic diversity was low, suggesting that the population was established from a single introduction. This highlights that high propagule pressure is not necessary for successful establishment of introduced invertebrates. Another species that has overcome the dispersal barrier is the terrestrial slug Deroceras panormitanum, which was introduced to Marion Island in the 1970’s and has since spread throughout much of the coastal habitat of the island. For this species range limits are set by intolerance of low temperature and salinity, and abundance structure is characterized by patches and gaps which are associated with this species inability to tolerate dry conditions. To prevent further alien introductions in the region, targeted management of high risk pathways is required. In addition, increased vigilance is needed to detect and manage newly established aliens before their ranges expand.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Alhoewel die impak van biologiese indringings in die breë waardeer word, bestaan daar vooroordeel in navorsingspogings ten opsigte van na‐verspreidingsprosesse, weens die moeilikhede om verspreidingseenheid druk te meet en in die opsporing van nuut gevestigde spesies. Hier word die Antarktiese streek as ‘n model sisteem gebruik waarin die aanvanklike verspreiding van uitheemse spesies gekwantifiseer kan word en om die faktore wat bydrae tot die vestiging en grens dinamika van uitheemse spesies te ondersoek, wanneer hulle in ’n streek aangekom het. Menslike bewegings is bekend daarvoor om uitheemse spesies na die Antarktiek te vervoer, sommige waarvan suksesvol gevestig het en omvattende gevolge in die ontvanger ekosisteme gehad het. Aangaande terrestriële flora het hierdie navorsing gevind dat oor die 700 sade van 99 taxa, insluitende sommige spesies wat bekend is om indringend te wees, jaarliks na die Antarktiek vervoer word in assosiasie met die Suid Afrikaanse Nasionale Antarktiese Program (SANAP) se bagasie en vrag. Die eerste waardebepaling van verspreidingseenheid afgooi het aangedui dat 30‐50% van hierdie verspreidingseenhede die ontvanger omgewing sal binnedring. Verdere resultate het voorgestel dat die konstruksie van die Britse Antarktiese Opname Halley VI stasie die vervoer van 5000 sade van 34 taxa sal fasiliteer die streek in, wat dit ’n betekenisvolle weg maak vir indringings. Verspreidingseenheid druk is ook, as gevolg van die SANAP logistiek, aanmerklik vir mariene spesies. Vuilgoed versamelings op die eksterne omhullende oppervlaktes van die SANAP her‐voorsieningsvaartuig, die SA Agulhas, vorm wanneer die vaartuig se anti‐vuilgoed verf beskadig is met reis deur see‐ys en word gekenmerk deur lae diversiteit. Ys skuring voorkom dat vuilgoed versamelings vervoer word na die Antarktiese kontinent, maar versamelings bly grootliks vasgeheg wanneer na sub‐Antarktiese eilande gereis word. Populasies van ’n welbekende indringer, Mytilus galloprovincialis, is gevind in die see‐storingsarea van die vaartuig, met sommige individue wat die vervoering na die Antarktiese streek oorleef het op verskeie geleenthede. Wanneer spesies die aanvanklike verspreidingshindernisse oorkom het, staar hulle verdere ekologies en fisiologiese uitdagings in die gesig ten einde in die ontvanger streek te vestig. Die parasitiese wespe Aphidius matricariae is vir die eerste keer op Marion aangeteken in 2001. Opnames om die eiland toon dat volwasse oorvloed en die frekwensie van plantluis parasitisme die hoogste is aangrensend die algemene ankerpunt van die SA Agulhas en afneem weg van die omgewing af. Genetiese diversiteit was laag, wat voorstel dat die populasie gevestig het van ’n enkele bekendstelling. Dit lig uit dat hoë verspreidingseenheid druk nie nodig is vir die suksesvolle vestiging van bekendgestelde invertebrata nie. ‘n Ander spesie wat die verspreidingshindernisse oorkom het is die landslak Deroceras panormitanum wat in die 1970’s op Marion Eiland bekendgestel is en wat sedertdien versprei het oor meeste van die kushabitat van die eiland. Vir hierdie spesie word grens limiete vasgestel deur onverdraagsaamheid vir lae temperature en saliniteit en die oorvloedstruktuur word gekenmerk deur laslappe en gapings wat geassosieer word met die spesie se onvermoë om droë kondisies te hanteer. Om verdere uitheemse bekendstellings in die streek te voorkom, word geteikende bestuur van hoë risiko weë vereis. Toenemende waaksamheid is bykomend nodig vir die opsporing en bestuur van nuutgevestigde uitheemse spesies voordat hulle grense verbreed.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/4508
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