The Mediterranean Sea, one of the most complex marine ecosystems, is inhabited by a rich and diverse biota which is disproportionate to its dimensions. It is currently affected by different pressures, mainly driven by human activities such as climate change and bioinvasions. This Sea, also due to its geographic position (wedged between the temperate climate of central Europe and the arid climate of northern Africa), seems to be one of the regions most susceptible to global climate change. The increased rates of introduction and spread of marine alien species may represent a supplementary stress factor to Mediterranean marine native biota already challenged by climatic abnormalities. The Suez Canal is considered to be the main vector of introduction of non‐indigenous marine species into the Mediterranean Sea. Due to the dramatically accelerating rate of such introductions and due to the sheer magnitude of shipping traffic, the Mediterranean Sea may be considered as a true hotspot of marine bioinvasions. The complexity of interactions between native and invasive species and the associated resulting impacts make environmental management of such an issue particularly difficult. A collaboration between researchers, resource management agencies and policy makers is called for to bolster the effectiveness of invasive species management procedures.
Part of the book: Mediterranean Identities