European Enclosed and Semi-enclosed Seas

  • Erkki Leppäkoski
  • Tamara Shiganova
  • Boris Alexandrov
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 204)

The brackish-water seas of Europe, i.e. the Black (including the Sea of Azov), Caspian and Baltic Seas, can be regarded as “brackish-water islands”, locked in by land masses and isolated from other major brackish-water bodies by physical (ocean and land) barriers. During the last two centuries, more than 300 alien species have been recorded in the four seas. Introduced species have contributed to species diversity and community structure, introduced novel functions and created new interspecific relationships in these seas. Their within-the-sea dispersal has been rapid and effective in all the seas compared, as demonstrated, e.g., by the recent dispersal history of the most successful invaders of American origin.

In all four seas, alien species have become a permanent and exponentially growing problem: they spread with unpredictable consequences, prey on native species or compete with them for food and space, degrade habitats, and alter food webs.


Alien Species Ballast Water Invasive Aquatic Species Mnemiopsis Leidyi North American Great Lake 
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

  • Erkki Leppäkoski
    • 1
  • Tamara Shiganova
    • 2
  • Boris Alexandrov
    • 3
  1. 1.Environmental and Marine BiologyÅbo Akdademi UniversityTurkuFinland
  2. 2.P.P. Shirshov Institute of OceanologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussian Federation
  3. 3.Institute of Biology of the Southern SeasNational Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Odessa BranchOdessaUkraine

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