Pathways of alien invertebrate transfer to the Antarctic region

Houghton, Melissa, McQuillan, Peter B., Bergstrom, Dana M., Frost, Leslie, Van Den Hoff, John and Shaw, Justine (2014) Pathways of alien invertebrate transfer to the Antarctic region. Polar Biology, 39 1: 23-33. doi:10.1007/s00300-014-1599-2

Author Houghton, Melissa
McQuillan, Peter B.
Bergstrom, Dana M.
Frost, Leslie
Van Den Hoff, John
Shaw, Justine
Title Pathways of alien invertebrate transfer to the Antarctic region
Journal name Polar Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0722-4060
Publication date 2014-10-25
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00300-014-1599-2
Open Access Status
Volume 39
Issue 1
Start page 23
End page 33
Total pages 11
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Subject 1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Abstract Alien species pose an increasing threat to the biodiversity of the Antarctic region. Several alien species have established in Antarctic terrestrial communities, some representing novel functional groups such as pollinators and predators, with unknown impacts on ecosystem processes. We quantified the unintentional introduction of alien invertebrates to the Antarctic region over a 14-year period (2000–2013). To do this, probable pathways (Australian Antarctic cargo operations) and endpoints (research stations) for invertebrate introductions were searched. In addition, we undertook a stratified trapping programme targeting invertebrates on supply vessels in transit to the Antarctic region and also at cargo facilities in Australia during the 2012–2013 austral summer field season. Our results show that a diverse suite of invertebrate taxa were being introduced to the Antarctic region, with 1,376 individuals from at least 98 families observed or trapped during the sampling period. Many individuals were found alive. Diptera, Coleoptera and Lepidoptera were the most common taxa, comprising 74 % of the collection. At the family level, Phoridae (small flies) and Noctuidae (moths) were most commonly observed. Individuals from 38 different families were repeatedly introduced over the study period, sometimes in high numbers. Food and large cargo containers harboured the most individuals. These findings can assist in improving biosecurity protocols for logistic activities to Antarctica, thereby reducing the risk of invasions to the Antarctic region.
Keyword Alien species
Propagule pressure
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID 4024
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print October 2014.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
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