An invading species that’s not necessarily harmful

Halophilia stipulacea © Julien Chalifour
Halophilia stipulacea © Julien Chalifour

A new species is slowly invading the sea grass beds and the Reserve is concerned about the consequences of this silent invasion. Introduced via boat anchors, Halophilia stipulacea, is pushing its way in over Syringodium and Thalassia. In Guadeloupe and the Saintes, this new species has taken over almost completely, but this invasion is not necessarily negative. Halophilia stipulacea is apparently very popular with the fish that digest it easily and it could also stabilize sediment. A research mission has been launched, and will be conducted over six months by an intern doing his 2nd year Masters at the University of Corte, in Corsica. Starting from the end of February, the student will work on mapping out the relevant sites and defining the extent of the phenomenon. He will endeavor to come up with monitoring methods to find out if Halophilia spreads or regresses, and which animals consume it.

All articles from: Newsletter-19

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