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   Caulerpa taxifolia (alga)    
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         General Impact

    The Caulerpa taxifolia aquarium strain in the Mediterranean Sea is extremely invasive and smothers other algal species, seagrasses and sessile invertebrate communities. It does this by either out-competing species for food and light or due to the toxic effects of its caulerpenyne compounds. Its large monospecific meadows have vastly reduced native species diversity and fish habitat (NIMPIS, 2002). Effects on humans are mostly related to the reduction of catches for commercial fishermen due to the elimination of fish habitat by C. Taxifolia, although the entangling of nets and boat propellers with this weed also affect efficiency (NIMPIS, 2002). Fish which are able to eat C. Taxifolia, such as the Mediterranena bream (Sarpa salpa), accumulate toxins in their flesh that make them unsuitable for human consumption (Meinesz & Hesse, 1991).

    C. Taxifolia outcompetes the seagrasses Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa in Mediterranean ecosystems (NIMPIS, 2002).

    Economic impacts resulting from the cost of eradication included approx $US6 million spent in Southern California up to 2004 (Anderson, 2004) and $AUS6-8 million in South Australia.

    No Impact information recorded for Caulerpa taxifolia

ISSG Landcare Research NBII IUCN University of Auckland