The tropical ascidian Herdmania momus has been rapidly expanding its distribution in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin.
This study examined the role of temperature resilience on the invasion success of H. momus by conducting field surveys at Achziv Marine Protected Area (MPA) (Israel, Mediterranean Sea) and by assessing the survival of individuals from native (Red Sea) and invasive (Mediterranean) populations under different temperature treatments.
The obtained results indicate that temperature has a significant effect on H. momus from its early life stages through adulthood. In fact, the field surveys revealed a significant decline in H. momus abundance in the Mediterranean with the decrease in seawater temperature.
The authors conclude that these results may be derived from the tropical origin of H. momus, and may further limit its dispersal into colder areas. They state, however, that adult individuals from the invasive population demonstrated significantly higher survivability to high temperature treatments in comparison to the native population from the Red Sea.
It is highlighted that the high-temperature adaptation of the Mediterranean population, from fertilization to adulthood may contribute to its expanding distribution in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Gewing MT, Goldstein E, Buba Y, Shenkar N (2018) Temperature resilience facilitates invasion success of the solitary ascidian Herdmania momus. Biological Invasions https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-018-1827-8(0123456789().,-volV()0123456789().,-volV)