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Distribution of Caulerpa taxifolia var. distichophylla (Sonder) Verlaque, Huisman & Procaccini in the Mediterranean Sea

  • Autori: Mannino, A.; Cicero, F.; Toccaceli, M.; Pinna, M.; Balistreri, P.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2019
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


The Non-Indigenous Species (NIS) Caulerpa taxifolia var. distichophylla (Sonder) Verlaque, Huisman & Procaccini has been reported for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea along the coast of South Turkey. This NIS is actively expanding into the Eastern and Western Mediterranean Sea. In this paper, we present an overview of the current distribution of this alga in the Mediterranean Sea, based on relevant scientific publications, grey literature and personal observations. New records from the Sicilian coast (Italy) are also reported. Caulerpa taxifolia var. distichophylla was found over a wide range of environmental conditions (depth, light and substratum), suggesting a broad ecological plasticity of this alga which makes it a poten- tial threat for the Mediterranean benthic communities. In this respect, artificial structures, often linked to harbours and maritime traffic, seem to provide suitable habitats for this NIS. Since maritime traffic is intense in the Mediterranean Sea, further expansion of C. taxifolia var. distichophylla in this region is to be expected. For this reason, it is very important to build up an overview on the current distribution of the species and its possible pattern of colonisation in relation to environmental conditions, as well as in view of future climate change scenarios.