Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

R/IS-12

Aquatic Nuisance Species: Coastal Dispersal of Invasive Species in Domestic Ballast Water

Principal Investigator: 

Anson H. Hines

Start/End Year: 

2001 to 2004

Institution: 

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Co-Principal investigator: 

Jeffrey A. Crooks, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Description: 

The overall goal of this research project is to assess the importance of coastwise transport of invasive species established in west coast ports and bays. The specific objectives toward this goal include: (I) To quantify the west coast voyages of commercial ships along the west coast; (II) To characterize the seasonal availability of key invasive species with potential to be in domestic ballast water in a highly invaded estuary (San Francisco Bay); (III) To quantify temporal (seasonal and annual) and spatial variation in prevalence and density of particular invasive species that are established in west coast ports and found in tanker ballast water (IV) To collect and analyze additional ballast water samples taken at critical seasons and locations for key established invaders in San Francisco Bay; (V) To collect/analyze additional ballast water samples using light traps and large folding nets for highly mobile species (especially crab larvae, mysids, and other pericarideans and fish) that are important invaders poised to spread via domestic ballast water; (VI) To determine the temperature and salinity tolerances of selected invasive plankton, to help assess the direction of potential spread of coastwise introductions;