RESOURCES: Underwater Invasion

Science  22 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5734, pp. 539
DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5734.539e

Like more than 7 million people, droves of invasive organisms find the San Francisco Bay area congenial. More than 175 alien species have settled in the bay's waters, making it one of the world's hot spots for aquatic invaders. Meet many of these troublemakers at a new guide from the San Francisco Estuary Institute in Oakland.

The guide aims to help researchers and the general public identify and monitor invasive species. You can consult detailed profiles on new colonists such as the star sea squirt (Botryllus schlosseri), a European native, and the parasitic flatworm Austrobilharzia variglandis from the northern Atlantic Ocean. The pesky worm can incite a rash called swimmer's itch in people who contact it. “This is one of the first cases where we can document that an introduced species is negatively impacting public health” in the Bay Area, says site creator Andrew Cohen. He hopes to enlarge the guide to incorporate all the invasive species that have taken up residence along the West Coast.

http://www.exoticsguide.org/

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