Monday, 22 September 2014

Tropical fish a threat to Mediterranean Sea ecosystems

The tropical rabbitfish which have devastated algal forests in the eastern Mediterranean Sea pose a major threat to the entire Mediterranean basin if their distribution continues to expand as the climate warms, a new study warns.

The study, by an international team of researchers led by Dr Adriana Vergés of UNSW Australia and Dr Fiona Tomas of the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies in Spain, is published in the Journal of Ecology.

Members of the team surveyed more than 1000 kilometres of coastline in Turkey and Greece, where two species of rabbitfish have become dominant since they moved into the region via the Suez Canal.

"The study identified two clearly distinct areas – warmer regions with abundant rabbitfish and colder regions where they were rare or absent," says Dr Vergés.





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