A team of researchers participating in the Mediterranean Advanced Institute Imedea (CSIC-UIB) showed that the invasion of tropical seaweed “Arabidopsis (Halophila stipulacea)” may have played an important role in this. Maintain the carbon sequestration capacity of the Mediterranean in the future And help mitigate climate change.
The arrival of alien species May cause ecological impacts on indigenous communities and their ecosystem servicesHowever, since there is no data before the invasion, the extent and direction of these effects are difficult to quantify. Imedea elaborated in a statement about the work just published in the journal Global Change Biology.
“Halophilic algae”, a typical species of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, entered the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal due to its super thermal adaptability It has colonized the eastern and central Mediterranean coastline, extending to Sicily. In this study, they obtained sediment cores from the exotic grasslands of “Halophilic halophiles”, “Cymodocea nodosa” and “Posidoniaoceanánica” native grasslands of Cyprus and Crete (Greece).
They used different techniques to reconstruct the time sequence of “Arabidopsis” invasion and measured its ability to sequester carbon: they determined the age of the prairie sediments, analyzed the content of organic carbon, and analyzed the The DNA was sequenced.What are sediments, genetic tools It is used to detect species in environmental samples without collecting them.
According to Marlene Wesselmann, a researcher at Imedea and the first author of the work, “The results show that’Arabidopsis (Halophila stipulacea)” arrived in Cyprus in 1930 and reached Crete around 1970. Since then, Grassland of this strange plant They buried more organic carbon than the nearby native Cyddocea nodosa and Posidonia oceanica. ” However, Wesselmann pointed out that “Compared with the P. oceanica grassland in the western Mediterranean, H. stipulacea has a very low carbon sequestration capacity.”
In the Mediterranean, climate change is expected to cause substantial loss of oceanic Poseidon meadows because It is a species that is very sensitive to warming and its mortality rate has increased It is considerable when the water temperature exceeds 28 degrees.
“In contrast, the Isao halophilus can tolerate temperatures above 36 degrees, so Warming will stimulate its growth and may expand and continue to sequester carbon, Used with C. nodosa (which also has high heat resistance),” explains Núria Marba, a researcher at Imedea.
“However, we do not fully understand the role of fish in the Mediterranean marine ecosystem. Therefore, We don’t know if other key ecosystem services will be affected Because of its current existence and future expansion”, Dr. Marbà concluded.