L'Institut et la science – Fiches Scientifiques

Alien biota in the Mediterranean Sea

By Giulio RELINI
Non indigenous species (NIS, also indicated as exotic or alien species), have become a hot issue in recent decades in particular in the Mediterranean Sea.

There are debates about the number and especially on positive and or negative effects of new entries, that are related to the very long history of Mediterranean biota and to the plurality of causes, both natural and anthropogenic, of the recent introductions; also the time intervals taken into account by different authors (in the majority of cases, only 50-60 years) are crucial for the resulting interpretations.

(...) Following the definition of the Convention on Biological Diversity (http://www.cdb.int/) an alien is “a species, subspecies or lower taxon, introduced outside its natural past or present distribution; includes any part, gametes, seeds, eggs, or propagules of such species that might survive and subsequently reproduce”.

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