Indexed on: 25 Dec '17Published on: 25 Dec '17Published in: Marine Pollution Bulletin
The intense shipping traffic characterising the Adriatic Sea favours the spread of marine organisms. Yet, a study of 12 Adriatic ports (4 on the western side and 8 on the eastern side of the basin) found that non-indigenous species (NIS) accounted for only 4% of the benthic communities settled on hard substrates. The cirripeds Amphibalanus amphitrite and Balanus trigonus, found in 8 harbours, were the most common invaders followed by Amphibalanus eburneus, the ascidian Styela plicata, and the bivalve Magallana gigas. The highest percentage of NIS was recorded in Venice and Ploče, the harbours with the least rich native communities; the lowest percentage was retrieved in Trieste, Koper, Pula, and Rijeka, the harbours hosting the highest species diversity. In contrast, the ports of Bari and Ancona showed both high NIS percentages and highly diversified communities.