Marine Bioinvasions in the Brazilian Coast: Brief Report on History of Events, Vectors, Ecology, Impacts and Management of Non-indigenous Species

  • Carlos Eduardo Leite Ferreira
  • Andrea de Oliveira Ribeiro Junqueira
  • Maria Célia Villac
  • Rubens Mendes Lopes
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 204)

The Brazilian coast extends for about 8000 km from Cape Orange (4°N) to Chui (34°S) (Fig. 27.1). This long coastline comprises a variety of ecosystems under the influence of oligotrophic waters transported by two western boundary currents, the Brazil and North Brazil currents (Stramma and England 1999), together with continental influences related to a wide spectrum of river inputs, the largest of which being the massive Amazon River plume in the north and the combination of the La Plata and Patos Lagoon outflows in the south (Castro Filho and Miranda 1998). Seasonal or intermittent intrusions of cold and nutrient-rich oceanic waters carried underneath the Brazil and North Brazil currents (the so-called South Atlantic Central Water) is another important physical forcing on regional shelf ecosystems of Brazil, particularly on the Southern Brazilian Bight and more southern areas (Lopes et al. 2006). Regionally important coastal ecosystems are (1) sandy beaches, occurring from north to south, with the largest ones in southernmost areas of the state of Rio Grande do Sul; (2) mangrove forests, which occur from the northern tip of the country to the state of Santa Catarina in the south, (3) coral reefs, ranging from Maranhão to Bahia including the largest coral reef system of the South Atlantic, the Abrolhos Reefs (Leão et al. 2003); (4) rocky shores, spread along the entire coast from the northeast to the south, but more extensive in the southeast; (5) coastal lagoons, such as the Cananéia-Iguape estuarine complex in the state of São Paulo and the Patos Lagoon in the state of Rio Grande do Sul; (6) saltmarshes, of regional importance only south of the state of São Paulo; and (7) sandy to muddy bottoms of the infralitoral realm down to the shelf break (Seeliger and Kjerfve 2000). Given such a large array of marine ecosystems and the extent of the Brazilian coastline, the country is undoubtedly a major receptor and donor of tropical and subtropical organisms in the world's oceans.

Research on marine bioinvasions is a relatively new topic in Brazil. The first comprehensive lists of introduced and invasive species are starting to be compiled and the understanding of patterns of invasion strategies is far from being accomplished. There is a clear trend of increasing bioinvasion events in regional coastal ecosystems, but whether invasion rates are actually increasing or are a result of more intensive research efforts in the recent past is still an open question. The data available is sparse and locally produced, that is, spatial trends might reflect specific research interests rather than actual introduction and dispersal patterns. Some temporal trends can be pointed out, however, as will be discussed below.


Coral Reef White Spot Syndrome Virus Ballast Water Rocky Shore Kappaphycus Alvarezii 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Eduardo Leite Ferreira
    • 1
  • Andrea de Oliveira Ribeiro Junqueira
    • 2
  • Maria Célia Villac
    • 3
  • Rubens Mendes Lopes
    • 4
  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia MarinhaUniversidade Federal FluminenseNiterói-RJBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de BiologiaUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de Janeiro-RJBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade de TaubatéTaubaté-SPBrazil
  4. 4.Instituto OceanográficoUniversidade de São PauloSão Paulo-SPBrazil

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