Líffræðifélag Íslands - biologia.is
Líffræðiráðstefnan 2019

Erindi/veggspjald / Talk/poster E69

Non-indigenous macroalgae species in Iceland

Höfundar / Authors: Joana Micael (1), Pedro Rodrigues (2), Sindri Gíslason (1)

Starfsvettvangur / Affiliations: 1. Southwest Iceland Nature Research Centre, Garðvegi 1, 245 Suðurnesjabær, Iceland, 2. Idenpendent research

Kynnir / Presenter: Joana Micael

In the last decades there has been an increase of macroalgal species appearing in new geographic regions. These new records are being linked to non-intentional human-mediated transport of macroalgae. This is a serious problem, especially on oceanic islands, where these species encounter available space and suitable conditions for survival, establishment and proliferation outside its’ native distribution range. In Iceland only three macroalgae species have been reported as non-indigenous. We have updated the number of non-indigenous species of macroalgae in Iceland to 8 species. In the non-indigenous macroalgae taxonomic pattern of Iceland the red algae group does not stand out as in the nearest territories. As red algae are usually small and inconspicuous, it is likely that they might have been overlooked previously in Iceland. The number of reported non-indigenous red algae in Iceland will probably increase in the near future due to (1) secondary spread of the species via shipping vector; (2) the growing trend of aquaculture in Norway, where surface currents will probably allow the spread of algae to Iceland; and (3) the increase in the number of studies focusing on this matter allowing the detection of small size and inconspicuous species. We suggest that local monitoring programs should be implemented across Iceland, and that regulatory and preventive measures for the maritime traffic vector should be developed.