Global study shows exotic species are a complex threat

08 April, 2019

​When species are introduced by humans into marine habitats, they can disrupt their new environment, according to a study at KAUST, which also identified key species for conservation efforts to focus on.

While the significant damage caused by some exotic species is beyond question, there is an ongoing debate among researchers about the overall impacts of exotic species, many of which may be innocuous. “This discussion is intensifying within the scientific community,” says Andrea Anton, the study’s lead author. To help resolve the debate, she and her colleagues at the University's Red Sea Research Center and around the world undertook a meta-analysis of the ecological impact of exotic species in marine environments.

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Image: An invasive lionfish in a seagrass meadow.
© 2019 Andrea Anton