Marine Invasive Alien Species & Climate Change

Elizabeth Cook (SAMS), Christine Maggs (Bournemouth) 

Anthropogenic changes to climate and extreme weather events have already led to the introduction of non-native species (NNS) to the North Atlantic. Regional climate models predict that there will be a continuation of the current trend of warming throughout the 21st century providing enhanced opportunities for NNS at each stage of the invasion process.

Increasing evidence is now available to show that climate change has led to the northwards range expansion of a number of NNS in the UK and Ireland. Providing definitive evidence though of the direct linkage between climate change and the spread of the majority of NNS is extremely challenging, due to other confounding factors, such as anthropogenic activity.

A greater understanding of the other aspects of climate change and increased atmospheric CO2, such as increased rainfall, heat waves, frequency of storm events, and ocean acidification may aid in increasing the confidence that scientists have in predicting the long term influence of climate change on the introduction, spread and establishment of NNS.

In this session, we are aiming to bring together researchers from all coastal and ocean disciplines to share their results and discuss challenges and future plans for how we can prepare for the predicted increase in NNS introductions to the North Atlantic.

We welcome contributions in all aspects of invasion biology, modelling and management.