Title

Recent mass invasion of the North American Great Lakes by Ponto-Caspian species

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2000

Publication Title

Trends in Ecology and Evolution

Volume

15

Issue

2

First Page

62

Last Page

65

DOI

10.1016/S0169-5347(99)01745-0

Abstract

The North American Great Lakes have been invaded and dramatically altered by more than 145 alien species. Many invasions have occurred during the past few decades because of the release of Eurasian ballast water from transoceanic ships. Current regulations require ships to exchange foreign ballast with highly saline water before entering the Great Lakes; this procedure should prevent colonization by strictly freshwater species, but species with broad salinity tolerance might survive transport in exchanged water. A recent series of invasions by euryhaline organisms from the Black and Caspian Seas region signals a new phase in the transformation of the Great Lakes - one that supports the concept of an 'invasional meltdown'.

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