Environmental Impacts of an Alien Kelp Species (Undaria pinnatifida, Laminariales) Along the Patagonian Coasts

  • Bunicontro María Paula Email author
  • Silvia C. Marcomini
  • Graciela N. Casas
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 29)


Undaria pinnatifida (Harvey) Suringar was recorded in Argentina for the first time in December 1992. Since then, it shows an invasive and competitive behavior, spreading quickly from the initial focus and increasing its population density. The first individuals were found attached to the port of Puerto Madryn, suggesting that the vector of introduction was the ballast water of cargo ships arriving to Golfo Nuevo from overseas. Since U. pinnatifida was recorded, it has been spreading along the Argentina coasts, extending its range within and outside Golfo Nuevo, along the coasts of Argentina from Puerto Deseado (Santa Cruz province) to Mar del Plata (Buenos Aires province) far as 1850 km from each other. The invasive condition of this species creates an awareness of the effects inflicted upon the indigenous biodiversity of this region, as well as, on the commercially-important benthic community structure. Moreover, the detachment of subtidal algae, especially during the summer, and its deposition upon the beach, have altered the sedimentary balance along the overall transverse beach profile. This effect, in addition with algal extraction by trucks mainly during tourist seasons, may increase beach erosion processes along Patagonian coasts.


Undaria pinnatifida Marine bioinvasions Invasive species Argentine Patagonia 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bunicontro María Paula 
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Silvia C. Marcomini
    • 1
    • 2
  • Graciela N. Casas
    • 3
  1. 1.Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Departamento de Geología, Geomorfología y Geología CosteraUniversidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.CONICET – Universidad de Buenos Aires – Instituto de Geociencias Básicas, Aplicadas y Ambientales de Buenos Aires (IGEBA)Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Laboratory of Marine AlgaeBiology of Marine Organisms Institute (IBIOMAR) – CCT CENPAT – CONICET. Brown Boulevard 2915. (U9120ACD)Puerto MadrynArgentina

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