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The newly introduced species Heterosiphonia japonica Yendo (Dasyaceae, Rhodophyta): geographical distribution and abundance at the Norwegian southwest coast

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The newly introduced red alga Heterosiphonia japonica, previously denoted as Dasysiphonia sp., has, since its first record in Europe in 1994, established populations in the Netherlands, Spain, France and Norway. In order to investigate the geographical distribution of the species along the Norwegian southwest coast, 83 localities were dredged along a total distance of 830 km, and the abundance of H. japonica recorded on a semi-quantitative scale in 2000-2001. H. japonica was present in the entire range investigated. The local abundance of H. japonica at 40 localities in an area south of Bergen was recorded by dredging. H. japonica was not present at wave-exposed localities, but was abundant at the more sheltered localities where it could constitute up to 65% of the total algal content of the dredge. The size distribution in a population was also studied at one locality during 1 year. Plants in good condition were found throughout the year and a large number of plantlets were present during all seasons. The results of this study suggest that the species has a high dispersal and recruitment capacity. The effect of H. japonica on indigenous ecosystems has yet to be determined.
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Keywords: Dasyaceae; Dasysiphonia; Heterosiphonia japonica; Introduced species; alien; exotic; geographical distribution; macroalgae; seasonality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Fisheries and Marine Biology University of Bergen 7800 N-5020 Bergen Norway

Publication date: 01 June 2004

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